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.


Film. 11.

Surprisingly enough, all my limbs are still attached, I was not subjected to spandex, and I exceeded my goal on the elliptical doohickey (15 instead of 10 minutes). In all, better than I thought it would be, and I actually remembered some shit from the weight training units of 11th grade gym. Yay me. My right shoulder hurts like a bastard, but I think I also slept on it funny last night. (Why, I have no idea- it's not like I was trying to contort around three hulking felines or anything...)

So I now have a membership. And a buddy. And all that jazz. We'll see how this goes. I don't want to bench press my car or anything, but... fitting into the size I wore in High School would be pretty neato, and not totally unrealistic.

Sorry to disappoint you, Goldie.

ET- the people at apple are so evil. You don't know you want their product till you play around with it. Then you wonder why the hell you didn't obtain it sooner. I seriously lust after the new imac G5. Unfortunately, I'm partial to having both kidneys, but damn... I want it I want it I want it I want it. (Yes. I am five.)



What's Shiny, Pink, and Sounds Really Good?

Before I get into that- thanks MWN and ET for cheering me up, I really appreciate it. I am feeling a lot better now. A lot of these issues are the same in the Senior Care industry too (which sounds really cold- but I can't think of an appropriate term). Turnover especially. It was really good this weekend, then, to go in and make valentines with my crafty crew. I only had about 6 come, but one was a new resident, and one was a resident from the very beginning, and I've never seen her come out for a craft, ever. They had a really good time, and I made some extras to deliver to my friends. Seeing their faces really helped to cheer me up too. (And it's cool, because one of the women is a dead ringer for my great grandmother.) A lot of the old gang from when I worked there regularly is gone, but a few are still there. (Between you, me, and the gatepost, if the owner wasn't such a moneygrubbing douchebag meddling jerk, and I didn't flat out refuse to do Chapel, I'd be gunning for the activities director job. They hate the woman in charge, and I'd run rings around her- I did it once before... Heh.)


Now, what's shiny, pink and sounds really good? An ipod mini, that's what. This was my Christmas present from my boss (I know- my jaw dropped), and I have just finally corraled Odie (official younger brother of Special Sauce) long enough to put some music on it. The PC I use at home is so old, the software won't work.

Now I can also use my work PC to put music I have on it, but usually forget to bring the thing, and this weekend, managed to leave all my CDs in the office. And why the burning urgency?

...because I'm actually going to the gym tomorrow, and reportedly they have shitty music. Being up at 5:30 to be at G Monkey's by 6:30 I can handle (and with luck, can shave down to the absolute minimum of time by the end of the week). Contorting my body into poses it hasn't been in since high school? Sure. Looking like a refugee because I don't really "do" sweatpants, and my sneakers are shite, and I'm not shelling out cash for new gear right now? Sure. All of this with Crappy music? No. Fucking. Way.

Mercifully, the gym is reportedly empty at this time of morning (because only crackheads, and my brother are up and about at that time). With my luck, there will be a parade of tourists with camcorders, the local news team, and a jumbotron set up that day. (Because even if they're not looking at you, it doesn't stop the brain from thinking what it wants, and running it's own dialogue, 'k?) And the Cardio? Um, 30 minutes isn't going to happen. I'm thinking 15 is an admirable goal, and I'll make the rest up in weights, and work toward the 30 minute mark. I know how thoroughly, and rather embarassingly out of shape I am (and I'd rather my heart not explode before my insurance kicks in)- but I also know I can still lift heavy shit (my family nickname isn't "upper body strength girl" for nothing...)

So watch your news tomorrow evening, and if you see a story with a dateline from Pennsylvania, and it involves someone getting injured in some Rube Goldbergian fashion involving some freeweights, a spandex leotard, one of those big rubber balls, and 2 powerbars being shoved up someone's nostrils, you'll know it was me...

Film at 11.


Wanna crush a great mood quick?

Visit this site about the Pennsylvania Waiting List Campaign and learn the problem is worse than you thought, and realize you can't do a damned thing to help. (Oh, you will write your letters to the state senators, and to the Governor, but you know they will fall on deaf ears. No pun intended.) And you will believe that your job will help. Eventually. But what you really want is a nice, spiffy, magic wand to wave and make shit better. But you know that won't happen.

Then you read the family stories.

And you want to slap every tight-fisted asshole who wants to cut funding. You will want to make them live in a house where they must work with a budget, and care for a family member, and wonder if this is the year they'll get services, or if they'll get screwed again. You want to beat on the bastards who vote themselves pay hikes year after year. Then you read this report on caregiver wages, and find out that direct care providers make about the same as a parking lot attendant, and rarely get COLA increases, yet are expected to work miracles, and be perky all of the time. Then you want to do more than simply beat the pay-grubbing bastards. You'd love for them to change an adult diaper on a wriggling patient. You'd love to see them pour and administer meds, or penetrate the "shell" of an individual with autism. And you'd like to see them do it for years.

And you get into a funk that not even Loretta Lynn will pull you out of, because you know your state is no different than any other state, and the national waiting lists are even worse. And you get pissed off all over again, because damnit, we're supposed to be a great county, and we're fighting for the freedoms of a country that doesn't want us there, while we can't even be bothered to take care of our own country. We screw over the elderly, the disabled and anyone else we think we can take advantage of. What do we care, fuck 'em, they don't vote- right? And if they do vote, we'll just ignore 'em. They're not going to show up on our doorstep, there's no wheelchair access. We'll release the hounds on 'em- they don't move so fast. Right?

And you sit there, angry, and shaking, and not knowing what to do except maybe cry, but that doesn't do anyone any good. And then you go back to writing an article that nobody will read, calling attention to a problem that isn't going to go away any time soon. And you desperately want a beer, or something stronger, and you don't care how early in the morning it is, you just don't know what else to do.


Get Yer Bitch On.

Oh, it is so on.

Caution, ranting, strong language, and incoherence ahead.

This afternoon I felt like ass. So much so that I went home from work at 1:00. I had a meeting with the (And you know what, I don't even CARE any more, so I'm just naming names. Place will not be around much longer anyway.) Literary Guild accountant to go over Quickbooks and where I left off and so forth. I had already rescheduled once, so I couldn't reschedule again, and tonight's the open house at the new offices (Hell's Half Acre) and I figured I'd kill 2 birds with 1 stone.
Plus, when I scheduled this, I thought I'd hang with G. Monkey (who's on the board) and then we'd split and get some drinks. Not so much with the puking feeling, though.

Accountant gets there and we try to open Quickbooks. No go. File's corrupt. We have to find the disc so we can reload it. The office where the PCs are is about the size of a closet, with bookshelves and boxes in various states of "unpack" everywhere. It looks like a packrat exploded. AND it appears that while the PC I worked at DID move, my desk did not. I think the disc was in my desk, and I can't even get in to the old offices to get it. (NOT that I would want to anyway.) And a little thing called, "Shit gets moved in 3 months, K?" So that meeting was a bust.

In the meantime, volunteers, who know I worked for the Guild are streaming in. Stress they know I WORKED for the guild. Past Tense.

Guess what, Volunteers. I don't feel well, which means I'm a lot less tolerant than usual. Do not ask me where shit is, because guess what. This is the first time I've been in this building since I quit. I was in the old office once between the day I quit and today. And everything was in boxes then. So guess what. I know less than you do, and care a whole hell of a lot less too.

Don't ask me where to put things, where things are, how to find things, or who was in charge of something, because... I. DON'T. WORK. HERE. ANYMORE. Here's a novel idea, why don't you ask the fucking founder. Oh wait, Betsy couldn't be bothered to show up all day, even though this is HER event. Looks like it certainly is busines as usual. And, in case you were wondering, rephrasing your question, and asking me again is going to get you the same answer, and even less politely. I am sitting behind a desk only because I'm writing an email to Betsy, and I am saying goodbye to G. Monkey, and I am LEEEEEEAVING. Probably never to return unless requested to expressly by G. Monkey. So, scissors? Good luck with that. Sugar packets? Don't know, don't care. Prints from the exhibit we never insured, and Betsy had to return without even ever getting to display because she was too stupid to do anything? Haven't a clue. Stuff to make signs with? How 'bout openin' your eyes and looking. Markers? Your guess is as good as mine. Now. Go. Away.

Also. Note to Betsy. If you are trying to paint yourself as a struggling organization, you do not have your event catered. You do not serve wine, champagne, and expensive snacks. I doubt highly that these items were donated. In fact, I do know what was "donated", which you extorted from the board members- i.e. the 60 dollar shrimp tray you forced G. Monkey to bring, when 1. G. Monkey is the brokest person on the board, (why not ask your millionare friend to bring the shrimp, instead of a fruit plate, bitch) and 2. G. Monkey is deathly allergic to shrimp!

Also, do you honestly think that many people will show up? You've been in existence for FIVE years, and maybe have 350 members, most of whom never come to your events. Why are you ordering enough food to feed an army? I'll be highly impressed if you get 50 people through the course of events, and 20 of those will be Board members and spouses who are there only because they have to be.

And, it's a damned good thing you didn't touch the pressed-tin-look wallpaper I hung, and finished like antique copper. Removing or painting over that would have rendered you a beating, were you to ever show your face at the event. Also, when holding an open house, it's a good idea to 1. pitch in with setup and not leave your volunteers to do it all by themselves, and 2. actually show up a little early perhaps. Idiot.


Paranoid and Irresponsible? Part 2.

Inspired by Goldie's post.

I believe that there are consipracies, or at least something hinky happening in the pharmaceutical and insurance industries. It wouldn't surprise me if there were cures for various diseases (major and minor), that are being withheld, because it is more profitable to have a person on maintenance meds, than it is to cure them.

If you're lucky enough to have insurance and your insurance company's not run by assholes, you can get most of your medications without problems. However, if you don't have insurance you just plain can't afford to get sick, and you sure as hell can't afford to get well.

Personal example: (Not used to whine, merely the one I am most familiar with).

I get migraines. Not the kind that lay me out for days at a time, but they were/are severe enough, and frequent enough that they can really knock me down. Migraines are not life threatening (even if can make you want to die sometimes), but the longer you have them without treatment, the more damage that can be done to your brain. (and even with treatment, you're still doing damage, because the medication has to be taken once the attacks start) Anyway. The last time I went to a doctor, the visit itself was 150.00 (because of my deductible) and the medication they prescribed was about 25.00/pill. With insurance, it cost me 35.00 for 8 tablets (1 month). I was lucky- I had Rx coverage, and I was able to hoard my pills by refilling even if I didn't need any, to save for the future. Like now.

I haven't had insurance in nearly a year, and it's not like I've been unemployed. I've been working continuously since I was 17. I've just been working for employers who were too small to have insurance, or the plans were so prohibitively priced (and my employer wouldn't help with the costs) that I couldn't afford them. Does that make me lazy? Does that make me stupid? No, it just makes me like an overwhelming number of Americans who work full time (or more) and can't afford insurance for themselves. (Luckily, kids can be covered by the state in most places.)

And if your insurance company decides that your blood pressure medication is too expensive, and they're not going to pay for it anymore, despite the fact that it's the only one that works? Well, you can either suck it up, and pay for it yourself, con your doctor into saying it's medically necessary, or live with the side effects of the other meds. Don't mind the fact that the people at the insurance company don't have a clue about your condition, the only thing they're concerned with is their bottom line.

And don't even get me started on insurance companies that will pay for Cialis and Viagra, but won't pay for a pack of Ortho-Tri-Cyclen (when the Ortho's about 30.00/month, vs. Viagra which is 3x as much for 8 tablets). Too late.
Why is it that Birth Control is such a scary damned word for insurance companies, and now pharmacists to hear? I take oral contraceptives so that maybe I can predict when I'm going to have searing hot pokers jabbed into my right temple, and, if I take them right, avoid having mongolian death cramps. Oh yeah, and I also take them so that I don't pop out some kind of youngin', because the Sauce, she would be one shitty mother.

I'd think an insurance company would be absolutely fucking overjoyed to pay for a 30.00/month prescription for birth control pills, versus nine months of pre-natal care. I think they'd rather pay for a pack of Yasmin, instead of a script for RU-486, if it's their delicate sensibilities at stake. Oh yeah, we'll pay to make a dude's hog hard for hours at a time, but we're not going to help ensure that his partner doesn't get knocked up. And I totally don't buy that bullshit that "oh, it's for old people who won't get a girl pregnant". Please, young dudes at the peak of their "insemination period" are snappin' that shit up.

Argh. THERE'S a conspiracy.

I think that Pharmaceutical companies do behave unethically when they "bribe" doctors with dinners and swag to get them to push the newest most expensive drugs. I think there are people out there who want drugs just because the see them on TV. And I'd like to slap the guy in the "Our drugs are expensive, because they fund research for newer drugs" commercial, because I call "total bullshit" on that one. I think it's reprehensible for anyone to have to decide between rent, food, and medication. I don't think that AIDS is a government scheme (because honestly, most of the HIV positive clients we had at the pharmacy were on Medicaid, and were getting their meds picked up by the government), but it wouldn't surprise me if it was. I don't have an easy solution to the crisis, but I do have (somewhere) a paper I wrote a few years back on some possible solutions. I'll dig it up and put it up here.

So I got a little off topic... smack me.


Oscar Nods

Some of you reading this know what I do for a living. Some of you don't. I work for a teeny nonprofit whose goal is to build an independent living facility for individuals with disabilities (think of a retirement home sort of a setup, where help is there if you need it, but you come and go as you please, and do your own thing and that's sorta what we're aiming for), foster an environment of inclusion in the community through the arts, athletics and employment, and include a senior living component, for aging primary caregivers. As much as I bitch about my job, (which I would do even if I was sitting on my ass, getting paid to have a shirtless Christopher Meloni feed me peeled grapes) I really do enjoy what I do. I like the fact that what I am doing today, will make an impact (and hopefully a positive one) on someone's life.

With this in mind, I was thrilled to see Autism is a World is up for an Academy Award for best Short Documentary. It's all about a 26 year old with autism, (click the link for further details) and the fact that it's up for an Oscar is particularly swell. They also bring up an interesting point at the Syracuse website about Facilitated Communication. Some people think it's bullocks and some think it's swell when used properly.

I'm of the mind that it's actually a pretty good thing, and I think that's what the movie is also trying to illustrate (especially since a syracuse prof is pitching it, and they're one of the big proponents of FC in the US... y'know...) One of the residents at the retirement home I worked at was a very young man (42) who had a stroke in his late 30s- the man was VERY bright, (was a grad from film school, had done a lot of neat stuff) but had severe aphasia (where you have massive difficulties speaking).

By the time he came to our facility, he was trying to be more independent, but he was a stubborn guy. Because his parents spoiled his ass, and would do things FOR him, instead of having him do what he was able to do, he would dig his heels in about stuff...we had a hard row to hoe there. While he was in rehab, he worked with one of the tablet style communicators- I got to use the thing, and it was really freakin' cool. And really freakin' expensive. Before his parents set him back, he was using the tablet, and WAS communicating with his therapists. I never was able to convince him that we could use the device again (then again, I'm also not a professional, but...) After a while, he left our facility- ran out of money. A shame, because he was doing much better not living with his parents- he was more animated, more willing to go out and DO things and not just watch Spongebob all the time. I know that without the opportunity to socialize, and get out with other people, he wont make progress. Then again, I also don't think that our facility was right for him either. He was 42. You don't want to chill with 79 year olds, when you're 42, disabled or no.

Which takes me back to the whole point of inclusion vs isolation, and horrific waiting lists, and why I do the job that I do, and why I can't look at Spongebob Squarepants without thinking of that particular resident.

Seriously. This snow thing?

Enough already.

Sure it's not Boston snow, or Minnesota cold, but enough already.

It's time for another epsiode (installment?) of "Things I've learned this week".

1. "Neither" is not an option when chosing Superbowl winners.

2. My ancient Saturn does fairly well on snow-covered roads, but doesn't like the 4-way stop on an incline near my house.

3. Layers are our friends.

4. The pipes in the bathroom sink will freeze only on the day when you have purchased the gallon-jug size coffee on your way to work.

5. When you make this discovery, you will immediately begin to sing "What do you do when your pipes freeze over" to the tune of "What do you do with a drunken sailor", over and over again because caffiene makes you stupid like that. Also, you will be so ecstatic that the toilet still works that you will not care.

6. I am powerless to resist photos of siblings in matching outfits (up to the age of like, seven. After the kids hit puberty it's creepy, and if you're still doing it as adults, seek help.)

7. I am stupid for having left Florida, despite the fact that my brain would have rotted, and I'd have probably gone on a killing spree. I would have been a toasty warm serial killer.

8. I hate my mittens, which are a full inch too long in the thumb, and an inch and a half too long in the fingers, so now...

9. I'm looking for a good 2 needle mitten pattern that is compatible with brown sheep bulky yarn. (I want to make crazy-striped non-matching mittens to coordinate with my freshly minted hat. Amazingly enough, a skein each of cream, black, light grey and dark grey, has managed to make me 2 stocking hats without a roll brim, one with, and hopefully, the aforementioned mittens. Sweet.)

10. There's a nifty Dinosaur exhibit going on at my local museum. Of course, Paul lives in Texas, and knew about this way before I did. D'oh. (And shameless whoring, the Esoteric Science Resource Center is awesome, and I have been reading his stuff since way back when he was writing some truly awesome stuff for the Healing Power of Obnoxiousness. He's adamantly not writing anymore, but is putting together some of his HPOO stuff in book form. I cannot wait. Despite what he says, Paul is one of the good guys. He got screwed one too many times, and I can't blame him for stepping away.)




Bored? Got Real Audio? Scatterbrained? I recommend checking out the January 15 edition of A Prairie Home Companion.
Especially delightful, the English Major script, and Guy Noir. Especially funny for those of us who love the books...

The quote that sells it. "I may have majored in English, but I'm evil. I love evil!"


I may not have majored in anything, but I'm still evil! (Or something like that.) I too want to kill endangered species and make cheeseburgers out of them. Or maybe some pot pie, or something like that.

Oh, and in case you need any further selling on the show BR-549 is on, and a woman covers a Tom Waits song.

Whee. Coffee! Whee! Quasi-passable roads! Whee!


Ok, first the good news.

The Eagles won, blowing Mr. Baltimore's mind. It was an interesting game, and was indeed the first time I ever hoped they would win. (I feared for the entire eastern seaboard if they lost the championship the fourth year in a row). They soundly defeated the Falcons, and in what is now a tradition with me, I left the bar right before the fistfights broke out. Drat.

Now the not as good news.

The Steelers lost.

We also played like a team with a rookie quarterback for the first half of the game, and the Pats played like the Superbowl champs that they are. However, we had a damned good run, and I am glad we got as far as we did. I would never have thought it would happen earlier this year. Nobody did. So, at least they tried. This is one of the best Steelers teams we've had in a long, long time.

And is it wrong that I just wanted to go give Ben Roethlisberger a hug? Jeez, the poor guy looked about twelve years old during a lot of the game- kind of wondering "Where the hell did these guys come from?" Poor guy. He did damned fine for a rookie. Next year, we're takin' them down. (For if this is what we could do with a rookie, imagine what we can do when he's "seasoned".)

I will live vicariously through Mr. Baltimore, and the Eagles in the SuperBowl.

That said, I'm going to brave the roads this morning. Whee!


And before I forget-




Ok, and go Eagles too, but only because I want to see Mr. Baltimore's head explode (or at least hear it) if they do win. Mr Baltimore is convinced that the Eagles will choke again (which, if they do, will be amusing, because all of Philadelphia will self destruct). He's a devout Eagles fan, but has been let down 3 times in a row. He has vowed, however, that if the Eagles win, he will jog down a local thoroughfare, Naked.

(I would be quite pleased if he simply jogged around his apartment naked, but that is neither here nor there.)

Here's hoping the roads are clear enough by 6:00 that I can make it to the sportsbar. I would really like an Iron City, and to see Ben on the big screen. (For Lancaster Brewing's Strawberry Wheat just isn't exactly a football-watching kind of beer, and that's all I have on hand. Yuengling is merely a cooking beer.)

And if you want to participate in the traditional Special Sauce luncheon, which will bring good luck to the Steelers (or you just want something tremendously not healthy for you, and you enjoy meat...)

Special Sauce's 'rogi Lunch.

1 package kielbasa (turkey is fine)
1 package pierogis, your choice of flavor (Frozen is what I use, because... I don't have a Polish Nana.
1 medium onion, cut in half, sliced thinly
1 Yuengling (or other appropriate local lagery beer) (bottle)

rolls, mustard, more beer.

Cut the kielbasa into 4 pieces, and cut those in half lengthwise, if you like. put them cut side down (or not) in a big whonkin' frying pan. Put the onions on top. Pour on the beer and put a lid on the works till the beer boils. Once the beer boils take the lid off, put on a layer of pierogis (some like to mist theirs with oil before they put them on, but i like mine a little chewy) put the lid half on and turn your heat down so the beer is simmering. The beer steams the pierogis, makes the kielbasa tasty, and the onions tolerable. Once the liquid cooks down to a nice thick syrup, (you can stir occasionally if necessary, but if you use a big heavy pan, on low heat, you're ok.) take it off the heat, throw the kielbasa in a bun with some brown mustard and onions, and snag a few pierogi.

Life... is good.


Fact Check This, Bitch.

Dear Jo Anne,

Remember me? I was the competent one (not G. Monkey, the other one)from the Little Nonprofit That Could (whore it's way into every newspaper article you write). Lovely article about my former benevolent dictator. You even managed to have the photographer take the picture at such an angle that you can't see the totally crazed gleam in her eye. Positively amazing. Brava.

Unfortunately, you have one of your facts wrong. You see, you attribute the departure of paid employees (both of them) to being replaced by volunteers in a cost-cutting measure. I regret to inform you that this is not remotely accurate. Paid staffers could not handle anymore of the batshit insanity, deplorably low wages, and complete lack of structure and quit. FBD was given ample opportunity to rectify the situations, and refused. Volunteers were suckered in, and I doubt highly they will last. A minor correction, to be sure, and one that will never see print. It means a great deal to me, however, because your wording implies that I was let go. I most certainly was not. And it may make me sound like even more of a heel to say I quit "in her time of need".

Allow me to explain, yet again, the circumstances behind my departure. Once FBD announced she was sick of running the Little Nonprofit That Could (still piss me off), we convinced her to notify you immediately. We cancelled our lecture season, I personally wrote out over $3,000.00 in refund checks to members. I stuffed well over 750 envelopes informing people of our closing. G. Monkey and I told FBD that we would stick around, if she was going to close up shop then, so that we could properly dissolve the nonprofit. We also told her that if she changed her mind, we would both seek other employment. When not more than three days after she notified you,Jo Anne, FBD announced she had changed her mind and was keeping the LNPTC(SPMO) open, G. Monkey and I vowed to entertain all serious job offers, and told FBD as much. We both found other employment within a month.

So thank you again, Jo Anne for a rousingly "informative" article about the Little Nonprofit That Could (obviously keep you in it's back pocket).


Special Sauce

Who really doesn't begrudge the FBD her publicity, but really, when do I get to STOP seeing your crazy ass picture in the paper? A girl needs some warning, you know. I hadn't even had a coffee, or a tranquilizer, or some sort of preparation before I had to gawk at that.


Mmm. Friday.

And nothing says Friday like the All Mighty Senators poppin' through your speakers. I defy you to stay in a grouchy mood when Landis is askin' ya to "Flex and Release". (As in, yer gluteus maximus... yup.)

Side story, related to nothing exactly other than it's one hell of a happy memory.

G. Monkey met Mr. G. Monkey at a Senators show, at the club that Mr. G. Monkey now manages. G. Monkey really loves the Senators (and again, how could you not? Space funk. Very tall man, dressed in something outlandish, Standing up, singing lead and playing drums at the same time?) and Mr. G. Monkey obliged by getting them to play the club as often as possible.

And, for their wedding? No mere DJ would suffice, oh no... who did the Newly Minted Mr. & Mrs. G. Monkey (and their tastefully attired bridal party) rock out to? The All Mighty Senators. Best. Wedding. Ever.

More stuff to come later (like the inevitable 12 inches of snow we'll get Saturday...)





I work in a snow globe, and it is awesome.

The way the cabana is arranged, there are large windows lining the wall to my left, a large window in front of me, and another smaller window to my right, plus a boatload of mirrors that reflect the windows opposite them.

It's snowing outside.

It is like sitting inside a snow globe, without any of that pesky "learning to breathe underwater" or having your fingers turn all pruny.

Hee! It's so pretty.

(Certainly my tune will change when I drive home, but for now, it's neat.)

Um. Right, then.

Editor's Note- this won't mean squat to most people, but it made me feel better

Dear People Who Ran Last Year's Gala Fundraiser,

I know your organization has been around for a very long time. I also understand some of the people working for you learned how to keep records using stone tablets and chisels. I get it that not everyone is accustomed to using computers to track things, and that "that magic box" can be mysterious, and frustrating.

However, when you work on a gala event would it not make good sense to keep good records? For example. During last year's gala, out of 306 invitees, donors, and attendees in the Auction! program, you don't have address information recorded for 140 of them? ONE HUNDRED FORTY! What happens next year, when you want these people to attend your next gala? Are you going to use telepathy, or hope they magically show up on your doorstep saying "Let us give you sacks of cash, you ineptly run organization, for you work with children with disabilities, and should be able to coast by showing some pictures of kids in wheelchairs!" Um. Right, then.

Perhaps I'm a bit too anal retentive. I haven't been at the Nonprofit Game for that long, but I'd want to make sure I had a bead on people who were issued bidding numbers at the very least. You know, in case they bought stuff. (In essence, giving us MONEY.) That way I could be sure to invite them back next year, after thanking them profusely for attending this year. I would at least make sure that I have the name and address of the man who bought the most stuff.

In short, people who "ran" last year's gala, thanks for making my job that much more interesting. No wonder we won't be working with your poorly-run organization this year you inept twits. Good luck getting funding!


One pissed off Sauce

P.S. Thanks for losing, burning, eating or otherwise destroying the entire mailing list you were given for the opera house. That's only THE list of big money donors in this county. Die. Die. Die. You stupid, stupid people.


And on the 384201th day, there was heat.

Just as I hit send on the email to my boss, telling her that I needed to flee to the relative warmth and couch-y-ness of my house because my hands were numb, and my noggin was about to explode, she calls me. The men are coming today, in fact, they should be in my little office right NOW installing a new heating unit.

Tomorrow I shall be toasty!

Assuming I'm not hacking up a lung.

(And I was a good Sauce, and told the Codger Corral that I was coming down with something, and moved my crafting weekend from this Saturday to next Saturday, so I don't go all Typhoid Mary on 'em.)

And believe me, tomorrow, I am cranking that heat up so high that I'm prancing around in a tank top and shorts, and still breaking a sweat. I don't care if it's snowing outside, I will be making shish-ke-babs on top of the heater. I will have an umbrella drink in one hand, and my mailing list in the other, and it will. Be. Good.


Praise Whore

MWN, beware, because I am a total praise whore. I think this story will make you giggle a little bit anyway.

So, I am sitting home, in the Sauce-ment, for that is where the computer lives, reading an old Preacher graphic novel I found, and remembering how damned good that comic was. I'm half paying attention to an old CSI on the Tee Vee, and keeping one eye on my inbox, for Mr. Baltimore and I are playing the ol' email game. (He earned bonus points last night for not only knowing WHAT mock duck is, but also liking very much the only Vietnamese restaurant in this town that carries Mock Duck Springrolls, but I digress) Evil is also competing for my attention, with a demanding "REAAAAH!!" (translated:"pet me, or I will pee on your stuff") every few seconds.

In short, I'm multi-tasking at a bunch of things that generally comprise an evening at my house. Especially an evening when the sun goes down at 2:15PM and it's colder than (complete with your favorite temperature simile here) outside.

At 9:00 the phone rings. (Mind you, I did go in to work yesterday, the roads were fine by the time I left around.) It is Bosslady. I know I didn't leave anything major undone when I left, so I'm wondering "The Hell?" as I pick up the phone.

after pleasantries are exchaged I get..."How do I change the paper from 8.5 inches wide to 11.5 inches wide in word?"
I explain it, and walk her through it. She was doing this, but it seems the copy of word on her daughter's laptop is a trial version, and for whatever reason wouldn't cooperate. They decide to switch programs, and I think they've solved everything. Not the strangest question I've ever been asked, but it was kinda funny.

I bid her adieu, and go back to multi-tasking.

(Ok, doing nothing, really.)

9:15 the phone rings again.
I check the caller ID. It's bosslady again. After the initial pleasantries...
"I know this is the equivalent of tearing down ceiling tile (for we had just had the discussion that afternoon about the stupid things I did for the little nonprofit that could [make you want to die]) BUT, I'm trying to figure out this project for my daughter, and it's due tomorrow" complete with daughter whining in the background, because her mom (according to daughter) doesn't understand the project. Daughter won't talk to me though, makes her mom repeat it all to me.

Long explanation short, they needed to make a poster, illustrating points of good web research, incorporating vocabulary words and so forth. I suggested screen shots of representative websites, with arrows pointing at the appropriate terms/items being defined, and a text box with the definition in it. Boss has difficulty visualizing it, and I have difficulty explainging it, so I, being the good employee that I am, offer to do 2 sample screenshots, and show the layout I mean, and email them to her.

It takes me 5 minutes, and I email it off, call her to tell her it's on its way, and all is well.

I go back to goofing around.

9:40 the phone rings again.

I'm contemplating, at this point, just going over and doing the damn project, but it is colder than ass outside, and I am not leaving the house. But, since i'm no longer in school, and have no children, I think I kinda get a pass on that kinda crap.

Pleasantries are exchanged again, apologies offered, and she can't figure out how to make the screenshots bigger. After walking her through it, it still doesn't work on her mac, so, in order to not have to answer the phone anymore, I end offering to do them for her. Which I do. And email them. And Call her.

She loves 'em, but is confused about how to make the text boxes. I contemplate tearing out my hair, but decide that patchy baldness wouldn't work with my cheekbones. (plus bleeding scalp. eww.) I explain the text boxes shold be from a separate document and she should draw the arrows on by hand, and everything should be fine.

I didn't get any more calls last night, but I AM hoping that I get an "A" on that project. Y'know, cause the 7th grade is my bitch and all.

Maybe it's not as funny as it was at the time. I mean, would your boss call you at home to ask you how to do his/her kid's English project?

I leave you with this.

It's 106 miles to Chicago. We have a full tank of gas and a half a pack of cigarettes. It's dark outside, and we're wearing sunglasses.


Snow Day!


Rather, Work from Home Day! Woo!

Well, not even, actually, as the roads were bare by 9:00, and I had the burning desire for some coffee and to actually work. (I didn't think to bring anything home this weekend, silly me.) But, my boss did email me early on, to tell me to stay home since the roads were shitty. I thought that was nice.

Now I have the giganto-sized Turkey Hill coffee (24 ounces of high-octane tastiness coursing through my veins. If they'd only make an unsweetened version of their Iced Tea, which makes heroin look like baby aspirin, I'd probably die a happy, twitching woman.)

Anyway, I have huge, (24 ounce coffee huge!) props for Memphis Word Nerd and my Elvis Twin. American Beauty is such an incredibly swell album. Sugar Magnolia rocks, and the rest of the album is... wow. I am very enamored of it, and never would have thought about it, had you not led me to it.

Anyone have any other musical recommendations? I'm entering a very mellow kind of musical phase, but listen to nigh upon everything. (Is it wrong that I secretly AM Michael Bolton in the opening scenes of Office Space? Well, except I don't bother turning down the radio...) Looking through my "office CD" holder, there's Tom Waits, Johnny Cash, Beastie Boys, Nirvana, Ben Folds 5, the Rolling Stones, Etta James, Bill Hicks, Hank Williams (Senior and III), Weezer, and a bunch of other stuff. I've got other things at home, and I'm about due for a shuffling. (And there are some true gems at the house... Duran Duran anybody? Hee! And not one, not two, but THREE Duran Squared albums. Not purchased when they were popular, oh no! After the fact! MUCH after the fact! Aiee! I was young! I was haggy!)

Hmm, anyway- What are you listening to right now, (be it traffic, birds chirping, or some techno funk) and why are you listening to it?

And for fun- Special Sauce Stalker Facts:

First Musical Purchase with my own Money- "We Are The World" on 45.
First Record I annoyed everyone with- Little Richard's "Tutti Fruitti" (oh mom, you should have never let me play with your 45s)
First Tape I played to death- Cyndi Lauper's "She's So Unusual"
Tape I'd love to have now- the cassette I made in 3rd grade, the day the Challenger exploded, by holding my tape recorder up to the TV during recess. I think I interviewed my friends too.
First CD I owned- Gregorian Chanting (a gift from my mom)
First CD I bought myself- REM's "Out of Time"


Holy Overtime, Batman!

First off, Iron City Beer comes in Aluminum Bottles ? Who knew? I only ever see it in cans. And it's quite unique, chilly, and tasty. Plus, it'd be great in a bar fight.

I warn you, the rest of this is going to be football (and yes, the evil 'murrican football) related.

Things I learned today-

1. Aluminum Bottles are really fucking cool.
2. Ben Roethlisberger needs to take those fucking gloves off if he wants to throw the ball.
3. Doug Brien may as well sell his house, because he won't be with the Jets much longer. You can honk a field goal, but you can't honk two of them. Back to back. In a playoff game.
4. Here's a novel idea, Deuce Staley and Jerome Bettis are freakin' phenomenal at running the ball. They get yardage every time they do it, against the Jets. Why don't you GIVE THEM THE BALL and let them do their magic, instead of making it go to overtime and cause me heart failure?
5. If you're a referee, you may want to remember to stretch before the game, lest you pull a hamstring as you jog up the field to keep up with the play. Just a tip.
6. I think Bill Cowher is a damned fine looking man, especially when he starts workin' that chin. Mmm.

And on a non-football related note, Lifetime Movie Network is doing a "Stars of 90210" movie marathon today. It's ridiculously addictive. (And SOAPnet is showing the series starting next week. I HATED that show when it was on, but now man- It's a freakin' riot.)

Wheeee! What a night. Great game. Overtime win, we pull that one out of our behinds. Many high fives, hugs, and kisses all around. (And plenty of beers) Fifty Steelers Fans, and five Jets fans in the bar. Whew.

Life... is spiffy. For now. :)

Go! Go! Go Black and Gold!

Ok, I am in full-bore-irritating-football-fan mode.

And yes, Barry, I mean 'murrican blood and guts football, where the violence takes place on the field, not in the stands. Well, less in the stands...

In a few hours, I'll either be inebriated, ecstatic, and kissing random strangers in a sports bar, or skulking about morosely. Lets hope for the former, and not the latter.

The Jets are going to choke. They may have rattled Roethlisberger the last time they met up, but now he has some experience with them, and I fully expect them to be at our mercy. Eat our 15-1 dust, you losers.

Also, I understand that Hank Williams Junior is a good friend of Bill Cowher. Does that mean we have to have him sing the national anthem all the freakin' time? Talent defnitely skipped a generation in the Williams family. Senior's a damned God, III is the Devil (and a damned sexy devil at that), and Junior's just some hack.

On a side note, I get to meet Odie's (official brother of Special Sauce) female compatriot today. (They can't date. Not only does she like modern country music, but she isn't a steelers fan, and likes chick flicks. I also believe she eschews feline company. fie! Fiiiiiiiiie!!)

Also- go check out the trailer for The Gingerdead Man. This is SO going on the top of our Cheddar Theater movie stack in March when it comes out. It is so ungodly bad, that it has to be good. I mean, Weasels Rip My Flesh was the worst movie of all time, but this... this may just challenge for second place.


On that note, it's off to consume mass quantities of cheap draft beer, and get a little rowdy. Hee!


A message from the driver behind you,

Dear man in the white minivan with wood paneling,

Boy, those school zones sure are crazy, aren't they? Especially when you drive through a high-school zone, and 80% of the kids drive. So much traffic! We all have to be careful and watch out for less-experienced drivers and school busses. Thank goodness they have that 15 mile per hour speed limit in front of the school!

I don't know if you realized that the reduced speed zone ended at the bottom of the hill. I drive this route daily, and I assure you it did. There are even giant signs that say "End School Zone". I realize they may have been difficult to see with the light rain we were experiencing. I assure you, however, that the speed limit is 50 miles per hour on the rest of that stretch of road, not 25 as you may have believed.

Because I am such a polite and courteous driver, I would never dream of honking at you, or anything so crass as hoping your penis falls off and gets eaten by rabid wolverines. I believe the 15 people behind me did, though. (So you may want to have that thing looked at, pronto.)

Thanks, and have a nice day (preferably on a road I don't have to traverse)

The woman in the dark colored car behind you, mouthing "It's only a light rain! It rains here all the time! It's practically fucking Seattle this winter! Turn your wipers on and accelerate! Some of us want to get to work!" and honestly not hoping your penis falls off and gets eaten by rabid wolverines. (I wanted it to be gnawed off by guinea pigs with glandular problems.)


Mommy, make the psychotic bitch stop!

Hoooo, ho ho ho. I haven't laughed so hard since... well, since the presidential debates, actually. However, today was a hoot!

Former Benevolent Dictator (also known as Psycho McBitchpants, a woman in dire need of better living through chemistry, intensive therapy, and getting as far the fuck away from me as possible) emails me today and asks if I will help their accountant put together a budget for the Little Nonprofit That Could (make me hemorrage from laughing so hard). She gave me the accountant's contact information, and I spoke with her- the accountant's actually a really sweet woman. Then, instead of writing the reply I wanted to write (which would have been "Hell NO! I put a budget together for you when I worked for you, and you as much as wiped your ass with it. No fucking way will I do it now for free, you cracktastic bitch!"), I calmly weaseled out.

The one nice thing about working for another nonprofit is that even if they're technically noncompeting (I'm in social services, she's in cultural arts), I can't work on financial stuff for another nonprofit, because it could be viewed as conflict of interest. At least, that's what I told Ms. McBitchpants. Plus, Bosslady doesn't want me to be involved with someone else's financials either, so... Heh.

She also invited me to their "open house" at Hell's Half Acre. I'll go, so I can talk to the accountant, and back up G. Monkey. I let her know these things, and advised her that she really needs to set up with her Finance committee to get a budget put together. She emailed me back, with the following-
(an excerpt)
"The window washer comes tomorrow from 8-9 in the morning and then I work with
the cleaners to mop and dust the floors to get ready for the move-in. We
are in pretty good shape. If you would like to bring an 'Open House' gift
people are bringing a bottle of wine and/or a chair pad for our wooden chairs
for seminars and events at the new house. Really the house is a completely
different place, can't wait for you to see the work you and G. Monkey so kindly

First off. I don't care. Secondly, It's an open house, not a housewarming. If you get a bottle of wine out of me, it will be Ripple. Thirdly, we didn't "kindly start" the work on the house, you went on vacation, and expected shit to be done when you got back. I gutted that fucking house for $8.00 an hour (which was a lot less, in reality, because you paid me for 32 hours, a week no matter what I did and how long I was there, and believe me, some nights we didn't leave that house till 10:30) and you hated everything we did.

She also called G. Monkey, and said "Don't be surprised if you get a call from me asking you to bring a vegetable tray for the open house". G. Monkey said "Well, um, don't be surprised if I don't bring one, then, because that's what your hospitality committee is for." Heh.

Fucking stupid woman. She's alreay well on her way to alienating the sane members of the board, and the Little Nonprofit that Could (die a slow horrible death) death pool is on. bets are being accepted. I doubt highly this thing makes it a year.


appropos of nothing

I am editing my boss's weekly message this morning, and stumbled across the phrase "I was filled with pride". Innocent enough, till my brain gets a hold of it.

When my brain gets a hold of it, it turns into "I am filled with pride. Pride and jelly donuts" and I think it would make an excellent book title. And it's making me laugh. A lot. (Especially because I abhor jelly donuts.) Perhaps it should just be shortened to "Pride and Jelly Donuts". Perhaps I should start drinking coffee again, or perhaps stop licking so many toads.

(Aside to Luz- Dark Chocolate filled pastries? You lucky, lucky devil. Obesity and Diabetes be damned.)


Ten Years?

Hey Brett-

It's been a while, hasn't it? Just over six years now. You've missed a lot of shit, man. I mean, even in my life- I moved to Florida for a few years, just got back last spring. Well, you probably knew that already. I don't know what happened to our circle of friends. Last I saw John, was back when I was taking classes at HACC. Stupid thing of it is, I still don't remember why I was so angry with him in the first place. Y'know, we always thought it would be him, not you. He was always doing stupid shit, and amazingly not getting caught.

Saw Bono and Leahn just before Thanksgiving, a few days before your birthday. Bono's in Miami now, dating a great guy, and basically living his dream. Yeah, threw me for a loop too, when I found out, but I never did keep up with everyone. Leahn got married, and teaches English now. Can you imagine? She was lucky enough to not have Canter crush her soul, and ruin the English language for her forever like we did. Nikki has 2 babies now, and is the absolute perfect mom. And me? I'm a godmother, probably the worst one ever. Was even in Nikki's wedding. Her husband's swell. Babec got all wild, but you probably knew that too. She's having a baby this month, if you can believe it. (I certainly can't)

Hard to believe it's been 10 years, you know. The Mengele sisters are putting together a reunion. Heh, I know. I alternate between wanting to go, and knowing that none of the people I cared about would attend anyway. We were all such anti-social pricks. Most of the rest of the class could go to hell and it wouldn't bother me a bit. You'd probably make it tolerable- we'd get liquored up and you'd start doing your Andrew Dice Clay impersonation, and give me the giggle fits. We could laugh about your mom on homecoming. God, what a night that was between my having to pick you up since your car wasn't running, to insisting on paying for my own dinner, to stupid Neal fighting with stupid Reina, to only getting to dance with you once... hella night, hey?

Ten years. Gawd. Where the hell did that time go? When did I become a responsible adult? When did it become OK for people to call me Ma'am? I thought I was going to take over the world, or at least a third world country by now. I suppose neither one of us ended up the way we had planned. You were going to France, and I was going to join the volunteer service. That worked out, didn't it.

For my new job, I drive by the high school every day, and by the curve in the road, the third light pole in- the one with your car door still resting at the base. When I go by I usually say "hi", and wonder what it would be like if you were still around. I wonder if we'd still have the same parties we used to have, (you know, I can't watch The Ref without thinking of your basement) or if we'd have gone our separate ways, communicating by email every few months, swearing to get together but something would always come up. While I'm driving, I hope that wouldn't be the case. And I hope that wherever you are there's a good band, all the Dice you can tolerate, and the biggest, slobberiest black lab known to man. Most of all, I miss you.

Thanks for everything,


News to me!

I found out today, that I am apparently "not assertive enough".

I'll wait a moment for you to stifle your chortling.

Feel better?

When I was discussing the situation with my mother, she asked if I told my boss to bite me. Sadly, I did not.

Believe it or not (most people who don't work with me don't) I am actually a very polite and unobtrusive person. I'm practically Canadian. (Eh?) I firmly believe in the adage that you will always catch more flies with honey than vinegar. You just do. I've also worked in enough places to know that if I need the rules bent (ever, not just in that transaction) I'm going to need to be memorably nice. (That, and damnit, you just don't treat people like shit. There's no excuse for being a gratuitous asshole.) And it works.

This doesn't mean I can't assert myself, and still be nice. I have become legendary (perhaps in my own mind) for my politely snitty correspondence with various deadbeats and slackers. And, when warranted, it's effective. I am not big on face-to-face confrontation, especially if I have to be a bitch, but I'll do it if there's no other way. Even in regular transactions, if I can email someone, I'll do it. I loathe calling people. I'm getting better at calling my boss about stuff, but on a whole, I kind of figure that unless I'm losing a limb or I've lost power (like this morning)whatever I've got can wait till it's convenient. (That and I feel like an idiot calling the house that's no more than 20 yards away.)

Despite my (not forceful enough) ways, I still get shit done. I know my strengths. I will organize you, I will make your words sound better, I will do everything in my power to make sure you're happy, but I'm not a haggler, I won't lie to people, and I won't flaunt my position to get things done.

Anyway. Thought you'd get a chuckle out of that.
"Not assertive enough."


Things I've learned today

1. Despite the fact that it's supposed to be in the 50s today, it will still be cold in the cabana.

2. Even if you plug them into different outlets, you cannot use two ceramic heaters at the same time in the cabana. If you do, you will have to get into the breaker box, and it will be stuck shut. You will then have to call your boss, who has her entire family home with the plague, she will come out in her bathrobe and pry the thing open with a butterknife, and you will look like a twit.

3. You can either plug in the fax machine, or the ceramic heater but not both.

4. The Permissions Department of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette doesn't know that you can have the fax machine or the heater plugged in, but not both. Therefore their fax will not arrive before the coming of the next ice age (2:15 this afternoon, I anticipate)

5. Loretta Lynn and the Grateful Dead will make you not really mind the cold so much, however other people will look at you funny if you "sing" along with "High On a Mountaintop" and "Sugar Magnolia" really loudly.

6. Those people don't count.


Eric Stratton, rush chairman. Damn glad to meet you!

The space heater I have been using because the regular heating unit in the cabana died... it started sparking today. Not so good. It would have been reasonably tolerable, except for the following:

1. I had a fundraising meeting to attend today, therefore, I had to dress like a human being. And, because I am oddly shaped, I do not "do" dress pants (too much hemming) so I had to throw on a skirt. (which is a whole bitching fit in and of itself.)

2. It decided to sleet and be generally miserable outside.

Luckily, Bosslady gave me cash to get a new space heater for the office. Lets hope it's not a whole lot longer till the main heating unit is fixed.

But on the positive side:

Animal House is on. Egads, I love that movie. John Belushi, doing his impersonation of a zit? One of the top five cinematic moments of all time. (Am I joking? You be the judge.)

I augmented my CD collection today (thank you CDW! You are always cheaper, even for new cds!)with American Beauty (Thanks Elvis Twin and MWN for the heads up!) and Van Lear Rose by Loretta Lynn. I can't wait to give 'em a spin tomorrow at work.

I've also still got a kitty on my monitor, pretending to be a vulture, and all is right with the world. Now if I can just get to sleep tonight.

Who dumped a truckload of Fizzies in the swim meet? Who delivered the medical school cadavers to the alumni dinner? Every Halloween the trees are filled with underwear. Every Spring the toilets explode

You're talking about Delta, sir?




Apparently I have really fucked up my karma. (damn Couric) My boss decided it would be a really good idea if I perused and joined the Oprah message boards, so I can post stuff she writes.

Why. Why Elvis. Why hast thou forsaken me?

Sure, Oprah's a swell woman. She does good stuff. She gives a lot to charity, and was positively swell in The Color Purple (and I always weep like a little kid at the end of it...). I'll even grudgingly give her credit for getting people who probably wouldn't normally read anything deeper than the liner notes to their latest Precious Moments Figurine box, into bookstores and libraries. I no longer actively hate her, but did when I worked for Borders. I had been operating under a "live and let live" policy with regards to Ms. W. If I don't watch her show, I won't want to turn into a soccer mom. Seems reasonable enough.

Oy. Now I *have* to flit around on her website. Imagine, if you will, a big pink room, filled with ginormous vases of the cutest ittle wittle roses you've ever seen, and you're being served petit-fours, decorated sugar cubes, and an IV of straight glucose, while looking at that "Hang In There" kitten on a tree limb, with a choir of cherub-cheeked preschoolers sings "Butterfly Kisses", while Thomas Kinkeade whips up a brand new masterpiece in front of your eyes, and puppies, lambs, and baby ducklings frolic at your feet. Multiply that by 3,000 and you begin to approach the annoying level of "you go girl!" sweetness and light that emanates from that site.


My little black hate-filled heart can't handle such earnest goodness. It may very well kill me. Either that, or make me start liking crap like Kenny G albums, and minivans.

May Elvis have mercy on my soul.

Funniest quote from my boss today: "I woke up in the middle of the night and realized I hadn't fed my kids before I left for a 3 hour board meeting! No wonder they were crying when I got home!"

My boss's kids are 13, 15, and 17. The 17 year old gets some slack, because she has her own issues. But a 15 year old and a 13 year old not being able to fend for themselves?

Dear Bosschildren,

I know it may seem unthinkable, but people your age, and indeed even younger than you, manage to make their own meals not merely once or twice, but three times a day! It may seem cruel and unusual, but I assure you, you can derive sustenance from the "magic cold thing" in your kitchen. And, you can also turn cold things hot in that "magic cooking machine" the one that makes your popcorn. In fact, people have written entire books (!) about how to prepare food using the "big fire thing" and "magic cooking machine". Amazing, isn't it?

So, the next time your mother has a meeting, and you get hungry, instead of crying, try using the "magic can opening device" on a can of "soup" from the cupboard, putting it into a bowl and putting it in the "magic cooking machine" for a few minutes. It may not be what your mother would make, but it will keep you from dying.


Special Sauce
(Who babysat Odie [official younger brother of Special Sauce] for entire summers from the age of 9 on, and has been cooking for longer than that.)

Caution: Objectionable Material Ahead

Not suitable for children. Though, if your kids are reading this page, you've probably already failed as a parent, and there are bigger issues afoot.

Katie. Couric. Is. A. Dumb. Cunt.

There. I've said it. I've used the C-word. I've broken that girly taboo. Fuckit.

I know I should stop harboring the delusion that anything on the Today Show is actual news. I know this. But damnit, they keep having people like Colin Powell on, and it confuses me. I keep thinking they actually try to educate and inform people. You think I'd have realized for certain, when the idjits behind the desk asked a guy who spent his entire vacation searching for his missing Fiancee in Thailand something along the lines of "That must have been really hard for you, how did it make you feel?" I would have given anything for the guy to respond "Well, Katie, It's exactly how I envisioned my dream vacation. My fiancee is dead, but I don't have a body to bury, and thanks for reminding me you dumb fuck." I acknowledge that it's partly his fault for being enough of a famewhore to go on the Today show to broadcast his misery to middle-America, but damnit, give us all a break and ask him something pertinent.

Today, however, the show took the cake.
During the 7:30 segment, on a weekend when we had an avalanche, mudslides, and massive flooding in many regions of the States, a war going on, and Tsunami devastation, the inauguration of a president who still doesn't get it coming up, and about 45 million other stories that are newsworthy, guess what story was being discussed? Not even merely discussed, but slobbered over, and dissected like a hapless fetal pig?

Jennifer Anniston and Brad Pitt's Breakup.


The following phrase actually came out of Katie's mouth.

"I know we have a Tsunami going on, and a war, but when I heard Brad and Jennifer broke up, I called our news desk and asked 'oh my god, is it true?'"

For this, she must be shot. Immediately. I don't care if it's a mortal wound or not. It can't even begin to match tme mental anguish she just caused with that one remark. Coupled with the guy from fucking People, who gets off slightly easier because I don't expect "news" from People, and did I mention they were treating this like it was fucking Nixon resigning all over again? Criminy fuck, people. Soldiers are fucking dying, children are being beaten and sexually abused, medical decisions are being made by insurance companies who don't care about anything other than the bottom line, and oh yeah, there was a fucking Tsunami, Katie. Die.

Sorry. I'm normally a peaceful woman, but I think she and Matt Lauer have absolutely no redemptive value at all. They need to go back to the mall that spawned them, and get the fuck off my TV. (Which was only tuned to the Today Show beacuse my local news was over, and I wanted quasi-informative noise while I ate breakfast.) Seriously, Katie? Kill yourself. You're a sham.

Now. With that out of my system, I'm going to listen to smiley mellow music, and try not to drive to NY and beat some journalistic talent and sensitivity into that nitwit.

Editor's Note. Lest I get sued because someone actually does convince Katie Couric to kill herself or does it for her. I do not actually condone going out and killing Katie Couric, or convincing her to do it herself. (But if it happens, it won't stop me from doing a little jig.)


Music Ho.

Oh, oh how it pains me to pay retail for music. I'm a big fan of buying used. I may not get something the exact nanosecond it comes out, but my tastes are not that cutting edge anyway. Pappa Sauce and Odie (official younger brother of Special Sauce) got me a record store giftcard for Spendmas, and I just used it today...

Now I have shiny new music to listen to at work. And by new, I mean new to me, not necessarily new within the past... 3 years? yikes.

The Grateful Dead- Workingman's Dead. Yeah, I realized I have absolutely no Grateful Dead albums. This needed to be rectified. It doesn't hurt that Uncle John's Band is one of my all-time favorite songs, and it's track one of the album. Happy mellow music to keep me pleasant at work.

The Band- Music from Big Pink. I also realized that the only Band I have is on the Bob Dylan album, and I don't always want to have to go through HIM to get to the good stuff. More happy, sorta wistfully mellow music to keep me happy at work. The Sing-along factor is high (actually it is on all of these, sorta).

Barenaked Ladies- All Their Greatest Hits. Yes, It's bouncy Canadian indie/mainstream rock, guaranteed to keep me pleasant at work. (A theme?) And, 1,000,000 Dollars is another all-time favo(u)rite song. And yes, I have always wanted a monkey. (Not a real monkey, that'd be cruel.)

The Flaming Lips- Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots- G. Monkey was playing this in the car on one of our ill-fated trips to Philly. I like it- very mellow, and Do You Realize is a great song, so pretty, yet so sad when you listen to the lyrics.

I am going to be one mellow girlie this week at work. :)

Also, I hope my office isn't bugged, or Bosslady is going to hear my horrible off-key singing all day long.

In other news...

There is an actual product called "Big Ben's Beef Jerky". I fear for the sanity of us all. I do, however have in my possession my playoffs shirt, styled after a Jack Daniels bottle, it's all about Big Ben football. (My folks went to the redneck ancestral homeland this weekend, and came back with Steelers Goodies... mmm.)

Bosslady wants to hire 2 other full time employees, once she has the funds for their salaries raised. I do hope that means I will get a raise when they come on staff.
Also. I hate our accountant. They have NO idea what they're doing when it comes to nonprofits, and never has it been made more abundantly clear than regarding a charitable orgs registration. This may be boring to some of you, so feel free to skip it. I need to vent.

Any idiot (like me) who read the instructions on the extension form could figure out that the state wants the following information when you file a request for extension:

1. Your Bureau of Charitable Orgs(BCO) application, completed.
2. The application fee- For our organization, 150.00
3. The application for extension, and check for late fee if applicable

In fact, if you read the application instructions, the only thing you're gettin an extension on is your financial information. That's exactly what we need, because nobody has been forthcoming with the check copies I need, nor has anyone clarified when exactly our fiscal year ends. That's pretty fucking crucial data.

So what does our accountant (the condescending, pompous jerkwad, whom I hate with the fire of a thousand suns)say we have to submit? The extension application, and a check for 15.00. Also, he fudged the date that we received the check that put us over the legal limit for not having to register.

I HATE this man. I have also made it abundantly clear to bosslady that he is wrong, and SHE knows he's wrong. She wants to use it as leverage to get her fees reduced, because he's an incompetent. I say choose your battles. The man's a fuckup, and if his incompetence screws up our BCO registration, we cannot solicit donations within our state. Period. This puts a serious hurting on our fundraiser, and kind of defeats the whole purpose of being a nonprofit organization. Sure, if he fucks it up, it's not the end of the world, but goddamnit, he should KNOW better.

Of course, I could let it slide, if it wasn't for the fact that he treats me like a four year old when he calls me. No, math is not my strongest suit, but I have worked in banking. I have a calculator. I have used QuickBooks. I may be better at writing and art, but just because I have boobs doesn't make me a total twit.


Wow, I didn't mean to get so bitchy and ranty about that, and again, you probably don't care, but it felt good to get that off my chest (metaphorically speaking.)


Um. Just for the record and all, I think I'm in "like". (a lot. A really, really lot.) This could just be the caffiene talking. Pardon me while I go twirl about with daisies and ribbons in my hair, and a tambourine or something, because... damn.

More in the morning. or at least later on in this one.

(But not necessarily about the aforementioned statement.)


Edited to add: At 11 AM after several hours of sleep, and a sing along with Bob Dylan and The Band, the mood remains unchanged. However, the cynical side of me wants to know what the deal is, and if someone's going to dump a dead puppy on my front porch or something, since I'm so cheery.


Holy happiness, Batman!

First off, Hee! Hi Carolyn! I think ponchos are quite possibly the most hideous and unflattering trend to ever hit the knitting and fashion world. Yes! Let me wear something that is not only bulky, but looks like it's made of muppet fur, Yes! That won't make me look like I'm wearing a car cover, no-sirree! (Yes, commercially made ponchos are occasionally made of fingering weight style yarns. They're still uglier than Tammy Faye on a bad-makeup day.)

And for the record, I have found true happiness. For the past two nights I have actually slept the ENTIRE NIGHT THROUGH.

No, I don't have a child, I merely can't stay asleep. (I even took 2 benadryl Saturday night, because I was at the breaking point, and STILL woke up at 3, and 5 AM) 2 full nights of sleep in a row? Sweet Fancy Elvis, I feel like... Singing. Or being nice to FBD, or making cookies for the 'necks next door.


And, as promised, here is the thing I was working on when I wrote the "slang dictionary". It's either really interesting, or really awful, either way it amuses me. (Background- my boss writes a pretty rough version of this, and I expand it, correct the syntax, screw up a few things, and generally make it good to go for the population at hand. Boss was all atwitter about this "people first language compliance" email that a partnering group had sent us (We're going to be giving them a shitload of money, in exchange for not a lot of effort on their part, so part of me wants to tell them that I've not found one objectionable thing in our literature so far, so whydontchya bite me? Heh) People First language basically dictates that you refer to people as individuals first, then their respective disability after that. I.e. Person who is short, individual with intellectual disabilities, woman who has low-vision. Etc. Now, Bosslady and I would never purposefully call someone by an incorrect name, it would be like calling me a drunken mick, and I'd probably beat the crap out of you. So... I GET it. But sometimes the terminology changes SO quickly that you can inadvertently call someone the wrong name, and look like an ass. (i.e. It's apparently NOT Mental Retardation anymore, it's intellectual disabilities.) There. That ends your little lesson on the current state of affairs over politically correct terminology regarding individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities.

Behold! I bring you...

Words Mean Things

It has been a sobering and serious transition into 2005, with a new word on everyone’s lips, and a rediscovered awareness of the devastation it can yield. I mean, of course, tsunami. January is the time of year when we get serious. We review past performance, and set new goals for the coming year. I’ve been reading report after report challenging the Bush administration to improve and expand the opportunities for Americans with physical and intellectual disabilities. I am impassioned to the point of implosion! I’ve got to relieve this pressure with a dose of common sense and levity, before I start freakin’ out!

Today what’s making me laugh is how seriously we take ourselves and the words that comprise the issues that we are passionate about. For instance, my 13 year old daughter frequently begs me not to speak in front of her friends, on the chance that I might use words she thinks only she and her friends can say. “Mo-om! You can’t just 'ghetto-out', and start telling my friends ‘fo’ shizzle my nizzle’ instead of a simple ‘yes’! You’re an ‘old-head’, and for the last time, you shouldn’t be ‘shakin’ it like a Polaroid picture’ in the living room with dad! I mean, ew!” It’s embarrassing for her to hear words like “bling”, “so fetch” and “jiggy” cross the lips of her mother—they just don’t belong there!

Similarly, during many business meetings, the use of acronyms by my peers denotes status and superiority, all dependent on how many acronyms can be crammed into a single sentence. “Thanks to IDEA we’re going to start that IEP ASAP with an MDE and get our GC in here PDQ before our RFP is turned down and we are all SOL!” I hear that and I’m either stupefied or impressed, how ‘bout you?

My struggle to stay politically correct and current has not only affected my interactions with my teenage daughters but, on occasion, the community I am committed to support. For instance, when did we change over to “individuals with intellectual disabilities” instead of “individuals with mental retardation”? I didn’t get a memo, it just happened! I don’t want to offend anyone with what I say, because I understand how important it is to address people in the manner they want to be addressed, but sometimes the lingo gets to be confusing! I have some pretty nifty reading glasses, but that doesn’t make me an “American with Presbyopia”, it makes me farsighted. And my daughter’s not an “individual who is vertically challenged”. She is short!

The ways in which we present ourselves, speak and write are valuable tools. Being “politically correct” can make us more effective, but we need to remember that whether you’re a “blue hair” or (like me) an “old head” or even a “Gen-Xer”, our frame of reference remains static, while the world around us is constantly flippin’. We can’t get too hung up in the nomenclature and miss the underlying intent. For example, can you figure these sentences out?

“Yo dog, ‘sup? Me and my peeps are gonna cruise by the hizzle and pick up my shorty, ‘cuz he’s wicked geeked ‘bout the Nelly gig. You got your ducats?” “Fo’ shizzle, my nizzle!”

What if I take it back a few years?

“Hey bud, what’s shakin’? The dudes and I are gonna roll by the ol’ ‘casa’ and snag the ruggie because he’s totally stoked about the Ramones show. You got your paper?” “Right on, man!”

How about if I put it in politically correct terms?

“Hello my compatriot. What events are occurring in your sphere of existence? My acquaintances of varying degrees of intimacy and I will take my gas-fueled internal combustion engine powered vehicle to my domicile to retrieve my youngest male-gendered sibling for he is in a happily agitated state about this evening’s musical event featuring a currently popular artist. Are your passes for entry in your possession at this time?” “Most assuredly, my confederate.”

Here it is in terms familiar to me….

“Hey, how are you? I have to drive by my house and pick up my little brother, because he’s as excited as we are to go to this concert. Do you have your tickets?” “I do!”

Each method is valid, but we have to work to get at the meaning behind it, especially if we’re not used to the language being used. We have to make sure that the medium is not obscuring the message, because none of us benefit in that case. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to drop this like it’s hot, and get it up onto my blog, because my admin is seriously buggin’ about how late this is.

Catch you on the flip-flop,


Mad Props to Special Sauce for the leg-up!


New Year's Gift!


Permit me to indulge a little glee on the part of someone else's misery.
Tucker Carlson (bow-tie clad weasel)is not having his contract renewed at CNN. Ostensibly, it is because CNN has realized it has overdosed on screeching partisan politicking shows (and I'm including the libs here too- sometimes James Carville, as much as I like the man, needs to shut his fucking muppety mouth)I can only hope that Fox News and MSNBC aren't far behind. One side screaming at the other doesn't change minds, it only serves to inflame the tempers of the furthest reaches of both sides. Why not present facts, and let people make their own decisions? That's a novel concept. I think that used to be called... wait... let me see if I remember... oh yeah. NEWS.

Speaking of decision making (how's that for a segue?)I had a great meeting with G. Monkey, DesignGuru and MasterMarketer tonight. It's kind of sad, but I miss working with people who are passionate about something, and know how to get what they want and do their jobs. Tonight just drove that home. Listening to DesignGuru (who was a bit inebriated, since there was a massive firing at his ad agency yesterday, and he went to lunch with a lot of people who no longer care about little things like "sobriety during working hours". Also, he was funnier tonight than I've seen him in 10 years. amazing.) and MasterMarketer breaking things down was enlightening. It gave me a massive amount of hope for the future of this journal, and I think that, if FBD can pull her head out of her anal cavity long enough to recognize this, and the board can just sit down and let the experts do what they need to do, we could have a very impressive piece of work. G. Monkey's incredible for getting this together, and stepping up to be the chairperson of the committee.

Oh yeah. And I'm now an assistant editor.


This is very favorable. I just hope to Elvis that this works out.

Tomorrow I'll post the really rockin' founders message I did for work this week, because I love it that much.


Mmm. Filler.

Ok, first the football-ery.

Woohoooo! Ben Roethlisberger (who has is OWN website!?) is the Offensive Rookie of the Year, by a unanimous decision. Plus, he's the first quarterback to be named to that position since '57. That's freakin' cool. The man's an alien. I swear it. He's also 20 days older than my little brother. That's creepy, and makes me feel a little like a dirty old woman.

Wait. I am a dirty old woman. I'm just not a cradle robber. (Though I could make an exception. Ben! Call me!)

Now the rest of it all.

I love the beginning of the year- the return to a sense of normalcy after the hell that the holidays are, playoff season, and I've still got a good month till I have to start puking over Valentine's day. And, on a good day, I even remember the correct year, so things go fairly well. That said, in my neck of the woods, (and believe me, that neck is a little redder than the tourism council would have you believe) the (great) State Farm Show is about to get underway.

Now, mention the Farm Show to a Pennsylvanian, especially a central Pennsylvanian and they will react with either unbridled 'neck glee, or immediately they panic, and begin to mentally inventory their icebox, and tally up the rolls of toilet paper in the house. Why? Because Farm Show Week, without fail, brings the most godforsaken weather of the year. Blizzards? Check. Sleet? Check. Ice? Check. Locusts and blood raining from the sky? Check. We get it all. Now, you'd think that we'd be used to this by now. Oh noooooooooooooooooooo.

Farm Show doesn't start for a week, but already we've got a WINTER STORM WARNING for rain possibly turning into ice tonight. Which means every grocery store in the county will have screaming hordes of people looking for toilet paper, bread, and milk. Nevermind that it will actually be 45 degrees tomorrow... the schools are on high alert. The milisecond the first drop of rain crystalizes into ice, the superintendents will be on the phone to the local news outlets, with cries of "No school!" Elvis forfend an actual snowflake manage to fall from the sky, we'll call out the national guard, and bottled water will be in short supply.

Next week, when the Farm Show's on, forecasters will recommend holing up with your "fluffy" friends, so that if the snow really does start to fly, and you didn't stock up on chunky soup, you can make your own (you know... out of chunky people). If the forecasters don't start suggesting cannibalism (though I wouldn't put anything past that damned Matt Ritter on WGAL) Katie Couric will corner some poor shit on the streets, wanting their opinions on "THE STORM OF THE CENTURY". "How does seeing all this snow make you feeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeel?" In between Super-Duper-Fan-Freakin-Tastic-Nyah-nyah-Thpppppppppt Doppler weather updates from the storm team, we'll be subjected to interminable shots from the Sheep to Shawl competition, and Livestock shows. (Not that there's anything wrong with that, but y'know... War, corruption in the government, other stuff that matters!)

Where was I?

Oh yeah. Snow. Farm Show. Possible looting, pillaging and chaos. If you don't hear from me next week, I was probably captured by a horde of skinny people, and am being held hostage until spring.

*$()Q!%#@! winter.

Food, glorious food...

How's that for a lunchtime update? Rest assured, more in-depth-dirt is going on tonight.

For now...

Mister Baltimore finally contacted me, and provided a satisfactory explanation for the lack of communication. The incident is, however, going down on his permanent record.

I know I said the other day that Dannon's Light and Fit Cherry Vanilla Yogurt was my new favorite food. And its delicious creamy (if not a little bit starchy) texture is awesome, and even better than ice cream, but I have a new love. That's right. Move over Cherry Vanilla. You're still good, but Lean Cuisine Spa Meals have taken the top spot.

That's right. It's a frozen lunch. Usually for 2.69 you get some rubbery turkey, in "gravy" with a bunch of veggies that look like they were through nuclear winter by the time the rest of the meal is cooked. Not these. Not only are they delicious, but they're attractive too. (at the risk of sounding like one of those commercials...) Today I had little medallion shaped pieces of salmon, spinach, yellow and orange carrot slivers, and whole wheat orzo topped with a basil sauce. Less than 300 calories, and about 400 times tastier than anything I've eaten in a while. Even the sodium is not bad, (less than canned soup) and the fiber's pretty decent. I think I'm in love... (and it's so much easier than actually having to throw a real lunch together. A baggie of carrots, a can of V-8, one of these, and a yogurt for the mid-afternoon munchies and I'm set in about 3 seconds.)

Wow. Aren't you glad you know my lunchtime preferences now? (and after I am done here, I'm going to dance around the office to the Beastie Boys singing "Hey Ladies". Now you really know too much.)

Ok. A quick story:(hey, you sat through the other crap...)

As part of my job, I edit/rewrite my boss's notes for a weekly message. This week, the theme is about how things change, and one of the illustrations is slang. (Which changes like the wind, fo' shizzle.) I got to spend some time yesterday putting together a dictionary of modern slang for my boss. Hee! I had to keep it clean, but this is what I came up with, thanks to UrbanDictionary.com and the Jim Rome show website. (Mmm. Thank you Sports Talk Radio for making me fluent in smack talk.)

Fo’ Shizzle my Nizzle: "fo shizzle ma nizzle" is a bastardization of "fo' sheezy mah neezy" which is a bastardization of "for sure mah nigga" which is a bastdardization of "I concur with you whole heartedly my African american brother"

Grille: your mouth / teeth i.e. This fool was trippin' and got all up in my grille.

Trippin’: to be talking crazy and/or not making sense. sometimes used to say to people when they insult you or insult a friend of yours i.e. You think the Detroit Lions are going to win the superbowl? Quit trippin’,man, they didn’t even make the playoffs!

Whack: 1. adjective; appalling in nature, unconventional, 2. verb; to strike one with the hand or fist, 3. verb; to assassinate. i.e. 1. yo, that's whack. 2. if your mother heard that she'd whack you upside the head. 3. you want we should whack a dog?

Smack: drugs, can also mean trash when used with talking- i.e. dude was talking smack about my sister and I got in a fight about it.

All That: wonderful. Can be a compliment or derogatory- i.e. “The new Stephen Spielberg movie is all that!” or “She thinks she’s all that, and she clearly is so NOT.”

Bank: adjective- wealth/wealthy, having a lot of cash. i.e. “did you see the car she just got? Girlfriend got bank!”

Blue Hair: adj. A senior citizen i.e. “My grandma’s a total blue-hair, but she’s really sweet.”

Deal with it!: (interjection) expression denoting lack of sympathy or empathy.

Ducat- noun- ticket (to an event) i.e. “Dude! I totally scored ducats to the Clay Aiken show in a call-in contest!”

to get excited about- i.e. “I am so geeked about getting to see the Beastie Boys next week.”

Squicked- grossed out- i.e. “I was watching CSI last night, and the TMI-Cam of the guy’s trachea squicked me out bigtime”

TMI- Too Much Information- “Sue, telling me all about your bout with the stomach flu was TMI.”

Lettuce- hair “ i.e. Johnny Damon refused to trim his lettuce until the Sox won the playoffs”

Piehole- mouth i.e. “Shut your piehole”

Postal- v.) - To commit a senseless violent act. Derivation is from the reputation of US Postal workers to commit said acts. i.e. 'To go postal'

Hizzy- One's place of residence i.e. Yo dizog, we goin to mah hizzy

And on that note, now is the time on special sauce where ve dance!


Dance Webmonkey, Dance!

Woo! Thanks MWN! If it weren't for you, I'd have never figured out those damned links!

More will be added as I think about it.

There's a story waiting to come out, but I may wait a little bit for that. I promise it will make you laugh. (Laughter not actually guaranteed. Your mileage may vary. Special Sauce has not been proven to be funny, and could actually be a figment of your imagination.)



Brief postage

Ok. I have a few ranty things, and at least two ravey things to kick out to ya today.

1. Still no word from Boy-o. Maybe he really IS in the obits. I'm reserving judgement on the lad until I hear from him (if I hear from him) today.

1a. You guys rock. Massively. Thanks for cheering me up, and telling me your own stories. That made me feel a lot better, and MWN, I swear to Elvis I wasn't laughing when I read your story. Well, maybe a tiny bit, only because I can only imagine the flaming daggers of rage that had to have been shooting from your eyeballs the next day (and during). Egads, that's the worst. Birthday. Ever.

2. How 'bout them Steelers? Hee! Our JV crew beat Buffalo. I love it. Fifteen and One is a beautiful, beautiful thing.

3. Dannon Light and Fit Cherry Vanilla Yogurt is swell. It is, in fact, better than ice cream. (It's only minorly starchy, and doesn't taste like yogurt at all. Huzzah.)

4. As soon as I can figure out that whole "links in my side nav bar" and "button adding" I'm doing it. I'm working on being a smart little webmonkey. In the meantime, I do love Stitchy McYarnPants. Good stuff. (link will come tonight)

Until then... no news is good... news?


Dear Guy.

Dear Guy,

Miss Manners has authorized me to be so impolite as to bring this up. The only reason to break an evening's engagement with a young lady is death or hospitalization. (Yours, or a member of your immediate family.) The only acceptable reason not to telephone the aforementioned young lady, and inform her that plans must be cancelled is your own death.

I will be checking the Baltimore Sun's obituary column Sunday, and certainly do hope to see your name in it.


A stood-up Special Sauce
(Who really doesn't hope you are dead, but is really quite disappointed in you.)