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.


So let me tell ya a little story...

Let me tell you a little story 'bout a gal named G. G. Monkey, to be exact. And how we met, became friends, lost touch, met back up again, and all that stuff.

I met G. Monkey the summer after she graduated from Prestigious Local University. I honestly don't remember who she trained with, but I do know she was from one of my earliest training groups. She had a wicked sense of humor, and the curliest freakin' hair I'd ever seen. (To this day she still holds that distinction.) I remember thinking she was neat to hang out with, but never really did much together until one of the infamous Borders Halloween Parties. She was the headless Marie Antoinette. I was Carmen Miranda. We bonded over our horrendously tall headgear. Or maybe this was the year she was Marge Simpson and I was the Dairy Fairy. I know it wasn't the Betty Boop duct taped boobs year (I can't remember what I was that year)... anyway, I was feeling rather awkward and drunk. She was feeling rather awkward and drunk. And we sat around talking about how much we really worked to hide the fact that 99% of the time we were scared shitless.

Somehow we started moving in the same circle- 80s night at the Village, Assorted parties... eventually she moved into another job, I ended up leaving Borders, and we sort of fell out of touch. Shit happens, eh?

Somehow she heard about an art show my mom was chairing, a few years later, and called to get some photos for a free weekly paper she was doing. I returned the call, and was introduced to Stoltz-a-ma-fus, and rekindled our old friendship. Found out the paper was doing a political issue, and ended up helping out- writing copy, being editorial assistant, and bearer/cooker of macaroni and cheese. Back then, stoltz-a-ma-fus didn't even have a pot to cook in. I had to bring my own pot, and my own boxes of mac and cheese to feed them, because they'd work all day without eating. I'd come over after my shift at the DMV and we'd have an awesome time on layout, and laugh over the articles we had (and yes, several prominent citizens wrote for us, pseudononymously).

Eventually that paper went under, and the new incarnation turned out to be run by a scam artist... G. Monkey got engaged to the fabulous Mr. G. Monkey... we crafted our asses off...They got married... I moved to Florida... I came back... worked with her for the Little Nonprofit that Can't hurt either one of us anymore... and through that all, we've been best friends, cohorts, sharers of the same brain, unapologetic schemers, crafty foxes, and have laughed, cried, and everything in between. I've helped her paint, broken her dryer knob, and made her laugh when I shouldn't have. She's kept me sane, inhaled a cubic meter of cathair every time she comes over, and knows almost all of my secrets. I couldn't ask for a better, more awesome friend.

And today she had a cat scan.

The headache that has ben really bothering her for the past week has gotten worse, and her left eye is a little bulgy. The doc's not sure what's wrong, and she won't get the results till tomorrow. And after all the shit she's had to put up with in her life (And believe me, there's an Augean stable full) she really, really doesn't need or deserve any more. I don't really do the prayer thing. I'd feel like an ass starting now. But I am thinking positive thoughts, and hoping to hell that everything's going to be OK. I know, just by the tone of her voice, that she is just barely keeping her shit together on the surface. Underneath it, I'm sure she's having the freakout to end all freakouts. So do me a favor, guys. Send G. Monkey some love. She needs it.


Yarn Whore.

It's not my fault that my new friend at work is also a yarn strumpet. She's the one who showed me the Knitpicks Catalog today. It's also not my fault that I can get the yarn to make Samus in Spruce for 32.00. (Yes. Thirty-two dollars. For wool. That's crazy inexpensive.)

Now I just need the time to knit it. Because right now the yarn whore in me is saying "I want it I want it I want it I want it" and the rational beast in me is saying "but when the hell are you going to make it, net junkie?" Of course, I could start knitting on the shuttle, and at lunch, and instead of doing other mindless shit. I do believe the body itself would go smoothly, but the cables would take me some time. (But I want it! I want it! I want it!) I'll sleep on it, and decide on Thursday, after I talk to the enabler and see how soft their straight-up worsted is.

And yes, I'm sure there will be House commentary to follow.

Well, now...

So. I finally have a lead on how to get the Hospital Property Hookup. The Giganto-Mega-Hospital owns a cubic assload (not to be confused with the metric assload) of properties around the Mega-Hospital itself. These apartments are rented to whomever, especially employees, at rather low rates. (i.e. a 2 floor 2 bedroom for 520 incl w/s/t/h and snow removal.) And they're not slumlords. And they're all within walking distance of the Giganto-Mega-Hospital. This? Rocks.

So I'll be seeking said hookup, preferably in a 1 br. Because yes, I could swing 520, but I'd rather swing 420 instead. (or whatever it would cost.)

Also: I think I'm going to rent myself to the nurse managers as a typist. I bailed someone out this evening after I clocked out and made 20 bucks typing for less than an hour. (Her computer ate the diskette she had written her final term paper on, and it's due tomorrow. She had it halfway retyped, but couldn't finish- I finished transcribing the last 10 pages from her draft, and tried to turn down the cash, but she insisted. Awesome!)

And the fair is Friday- so we're going out for a fried dinner (OK, a cheesesteak, boardwalk fries, and perhaps a fried snickers bar or a waffle ice cream sandwich and a caramel apple to bring home.) And my favorite game (that I'v enever played) Rat Roulette. Woo! And I'll admit it, I like to look through the exhibits- particularly the arts/crafts ones. G. Monkey's going to join me, and we'll have fun winning dorky stuffed animals together and avoiding people I went to school with.


Oh really?

So I drive by a multitude of churches on my way home from work each night. Most of them have those little light-up billboards out front with pithy sayings on them. The one by the hospital says "No Jesus, No Peace, Know Jesus, Know Peace". Up the road a bit is "Open and Affirming- Love is Color Blind". I like that one...

But then there are a few that get me- like the one at the church with the obnoxious traffic guys. "Worship is for God's Benefit". Sure is. But you should probably be getting something out of it too... spiritual fulfillment, fellowship... SOMETHING, or why bother? Then there's my favorite. And I realize I'm going to hell for it. But every time I drive by, it just begs to be mocked. What does it say?

"It's hard to stumble when you're on your knees."

...it's also easier to give blowjobs that way.
...it's also difficult to get anywhere good.
... it's also a good way to get rugburn.

And the list goes on, and on and on...

Any suggestions to make me giggle tomorrow on my way home?


Superstitions 2, Steelers Opponents, 1.

See, when you forgo your rituals to watch the game with a guy, the football gods do not smile. Sure, they'll bless you with a lead for most of the game, only to rip it away, cruelly, allow you to tie things up, only to lose with less than 30 seconds to go.

But at least you'll lose with good company.

I bought the pierogis and kielbasa, and wore a steelers shirt, but not the jersey... I knitted, but didn't have a beer, and I did go OUT to watch the game, but it didn't count, apparently. Then again, it's also pretty hard to beat the Pats.

Oh well. There's always the next game!

Oh really now?

The overwhelming majority of search terms to hit the site lately have been for "AJ Gentile".

And I? Find that AWESOME.

But y'all don't want my site- y'all want AJ's Piece o' the Web. It's much more interesting. And if you act right now, you can see Jenny McCarthy peeing herself!

In other news- I am soooooo not going hiking today, as I can barely move. The foot is a little bit better, but now my legs are also exceptionally sore. I knew that would happen, so that's not any big surprise. A bummer, because I would have enjoyed the view that resulted from the hike. Shit happens.


And a Heart-y good morning to you, too.

So I just did the American Heart Association's Heart Walk.

And thank Elvis I brought my ipod. Because even though I walked fast (for me) and got through the five mile course in about an hour and a half, I'd have died from sheer boredom.


Everything was great until about the last half mile, when I must have come down on my right foot funny. It hurts like a bastard without my sneakers on, so hiking tomorrow is probably out, unless I wrap the bejesus out of it.

I'm glad I did it. It was nice to see some of the people I work with, outside work, and it's definitely for a good cause. Now I can take a nap. Well, I can go see Most Perfect Mom Ever and The Most Perfect Children Ever, at the park, and THEN take a nap.

On a wholly unrelated note? There's a new Sinclair Lewis book out. "Go East, Young Man" and a beautiful trade paper edition of Babbitt. I'm positively thrilled. They also reissued "It Can't Happen Here". It looks like Sinclair Lewis is finally getting his due. Babbitt is one of those books I have to read every year, and it's definitely one of my favorite books. Sinclair Lewis simply creates characters that are timeless, well developed, skillfully described, and interweaves them into stories that are still relevant today. Think refined, midwestern Steinbeck. (Whom I also love, but for different reasons)



Fucking fuckety fuck, even.

Y'know what guys? I don't fucking get you. I don't. Seriously. And when I say "guys" I mean those of you out there with penises. Not the general "you guys" that would include those of us with internal plumbing. Dudes, as it were.

I consider myself to be reasonably intelligent, or at the least, besting a labrador on a pretty good day, and I just can't fucking get it. I try. I really do. Shit. I started watching football so I would have something to talk about with a guy I had a crush on. Ended up loving the damn game. Bonus. I try to be approachable. I am no Kate Moss, but I'm at least on the lighterer side of Rosie O'Donnell, I think.

I like beer. From a bottle. I eschew little froofy girlie drinks. I have boobs. I know how to use them. I can cook and sew, and do lots of girly things, but I will watch sports, and talk smack, and laugh at dick jokes (because c'mon, who doesn't love a good "vein hoagie" crack?) I care about what I look like, but am pretty fucking low maintenance. And someday? I'm going to make someone a fucking AWESOME wife. But that day? Isn't going to be tomorrow, and I don't have my man-trappin' boots on. I want to go out. On a date. Where there's a modicum of effort. (I wore socks tonight people. And not only did they go with my shoes, but they coordinated with my shirt. And I wore mascara. I did not, apparently, merit a collared shirt, or even one without pictures on it.)

Fuck. I mean. What do you guys WANT? Honestly. Fill me in. Because short of turning into a double-jointed 19 year old trapeze artist... I'm all ears. It's not even like I want to trap all of you into some big fucking commitment, but a goodnight hug wouldn't be awful, or a "How you doin'?" , or to be viewed as someone other than a sibling, or "one of the guys". I'm really damned perplexed, and I just don't get it. And right now it's really, really pissing me off. Christ on a pogo stick, what is wrong with me?

And yes, I'm sure I'll regret this post in the morning, but what the fuck. It's my damn blog.

Oh for the love of Elvis.

I'm having an afternoon where I'd like to scream, cry, laugh, bite the bejesus out of my arms, get roaringly drunk, hide under a desk, throw up, be loud & obnoxious, and fuck the next good looking guy that walks in front of me. Simultaneously.

I'm about ready to jump out of my skin for no apparent reason. My caffiene intake was no higher than usual, and it's not PMS. We'll just chalk it up to... well, I don't know what the fuck to chalk it up to. Give me another fifteen minutes and I'll probably cycle again.

OH. And I'm going out tonight. Probably. So this should be amusing.

(And Steph, before you ask. Yes. That's the one.)


More to come.



Ok, there will be CSI spoilers in here, so read at your own peril.

There. We're ok now?

An episode like tonight's makes me lament the loss of weekly Television Without Pity recaps of CSI. (And of the four shows I watch on a pretty regular basis- House, CSI, L&Os CI/SVU, and Monk- I started watching House and CSI because of the recaps.) Honestly, one of the better episodes I've seen in a while. The team's back together. Warrick got married. (Yes. You read that correctly. MARRIED.) and Catherine's got her g-string in a twist about that whole "What, now I really can't schtupp 'rick? Shit." thing, and Grissom's working on whether or not the dude that tried to blow up Lil' Nicky had a partner. Oh, and they solved 2.5 cases...

Disturbing things? The hat Grissom is wearing for the exploded trailer scenes. Note to wardrobe: William Petersen looks Amish in a straw hat. The effect is not good. If he must have jaunty headgear, lets keep it to the reversed baseball cap variety. Unless, of course, he's done something to wrong y'all. In which case, punish away.

The Trans-Am Crock Pot. What are we havin' for dinner? How 'bout 2 DBs in the trunk of a Trans-Am, which has been in the heat of a Las Vegas summmer for at least 4 days? Nothin' says lovin' like stewed dead bodies in your trunk(in). Worse? Liam the former Lab Tech gettin' a mouthful of people squeezins.

Um. Warrick? Married? Yeah, that's disturbing. Also creepy? Facially, Gary Dourdan reminds me of my friend Magicdude. Not totally. Just certain aspects. Anyway.

Fairly well written, well-acted as always. Marg H's hair was alright, Jorja's was rather nice. (Tonsorial accidents are a bit jarring, ok?) Though, I have to say the whole Grissom/Charlie crimesolving duo felt a little tacked on somehow. We'll see how this plays out over the next few weeks, I guess.

Oh, and Stephee? Totally fightin' ya for him. And while I don't know Karate, I know Ka-Razy.

My name is Special Sauce

And I am a consumer whore.

Or, if you prefer, shopping is my bitch. Those of you with more testosterone than estrogen may want to just skip today's entry because I'm about to get all shoptastic on your asses...

Because today I realized I had the most excellent combination out there. A fresh paycheck and 4 coupons for $25.00 off a $50.00 purchase at the fat store. And I scored. Bigtime. 3 nice camis (gold, claret, and a pretty lacy black one), 3 button down shirts (pink with nice rhinestone stud buttons, solid brown, and a burgundy with gold stripes) a new pair of grey trousers, and 2 nice v-neck long sleeved shirts (heather plum and heathered brown) for the princely sum of 100 bucks. I rule. And I'll also be reasonably nicely attired for the rest of fall and well into winter. Pretty good deal, since last year I pretty much wore nothing but jeans and long underwear to work and therefore had NOTHING nice to wear.

And because I could, and stuff, I did hit payless for some remarkably comfortable shoes. (I know. But I tried them on, and walked, and they were wide enough and everything.) I got these cute brown ones, and these neat black ones. Elvis was playing with the bows as I walked in them tonight.

And for what it's worth, I would like to kiss the person who decided round-toe shoes were "in" this year. Because those of us with ginormously wide feet can finally find reasonably wide shoes now. And it's about damned time.

Personal amusement: The Literary Journal That Could (Make you want to weep, because it's so good, but will never become anything because Former-Benevolent-Dictator-Betsy will never relinquish enough control to allow it to blossom and she lost both her design person and editor...) is being sold next to High Times at Borders. I find that Very. Very. Funny.

And more important than all my crap, Stephee's surgery went well, so go over to her blog, would ya, and wish her a speedy recovery 'n all. Alright?


Shoot it on over-

Do me a favor, Y'all. Hit the incomprable Stephee up with a lot of love. She's havin' surgery tomorrow, and has been havin' quite the hellacious past few weeks. She may not admit it, but she could use the lovin'. Alright?

And I found out that Magic Dude's house has 10 inches of water in it, he's going to have to deal with FEMA tomorrow. His landlord's doin' a bunch for them- but it's pretty much cemented his plan to leave the island and head back to Phoenix. He's done with it all. The commercialism, the quashing of the individualism/artistic spirit that drew him there originally. Key West is being condo-ized, and he's had enough. So... That kinda sucks.

And to steal something fun from Myspace...

Pick a band/artist ~ now answer the questions using ONLY SONG TITLES from the chosen band/artist.

Name: Elissa

1. artist you chose: Beastie Boys

2. are you a male or female: "Girls"

3. describe yourself: "She's Crafty"

4. how do you feel about yourself: "No Sleep 'till Brooklyn"

5. describe your ex boyfriend/girlfriend: "Hey Ladies/Hey Fuck You"

6. describe your current boyfriend/girlfriend: "I Don't Know"

7. describe your current location: "Transitions"

8. describe where you want to be: "High Plains Drifter"

9. your best friend is: "Brass Monkey"

10. your favorite color: "Electrify"

11. what’s the weather like: "Triple Trouble" (Hazy. Hot. Humid.)

12. if your life was a television show what would it be: "The Brouhaha"

13. what is life to you: "What Comes Around"

14. what is the best advice you have to give: "Fight for your Right"

15. if you could change your name what would it be: "Bobo on the Corner"

16. tell me something about the person who posted this before you: "Alright, Hear This" (Neidermyer)


Kiss me, you misanthropic bastard!

Ok. My name is Special Sauce, and I've got a crush on a man who doesn't exist. But I'm telling you now, would the opportunity present itself, I'd do all manner of indecent things to Dr. Gregory House. (And yes, Hugh Laurie would be an adequate substitute. His eyes? Holy christ on a Triscuit.) What. This isn't House Anonymous? Shit. Wrong meeting.

That said, my burning lust isn't based on mere looks. Mad, mad props go to the writers. Season two is shaping up well, and they are making an effort to, despite the formula* make things interesting, and not come across as totally formulaic. I was actually laughing. Out loud. LOUUUUUUUUUD. At tonight's episode. And nearly crying. Not because of the little kid, but the way Hugh Laurie telegraphed the emotion. It was beautiful. Just excellent.

What I loved:

1. The Benadryl Delivery System: I'm definitely givin' that a shot next time.

2. No Sela Ward! (Sorry. Her character's very existence on the show is contrived, and I hate it. HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATE it. )

3. Very Little Cameron (Still. SHUT UP Cameron.) And House's bit about "You'll try to get into a custody battle over the patient"? One of the funniest bits in there.

4. The look of abject horror/stifled laughter Cameron had goin' on after Chase told them he kissed the kid.

5. The "perfect hair" crack re: Chase. That, my friends, is such a shout-out.

6. Cuddy- "Are you high?"
House- "It's Tuesday. I'm wasted."
Cuddy- "It's Wednesday."

7. Was that Elvis Costello I heard?

8. They didn't make House become a total softie over a kid. (Because that would have made me vomit.) As it was, It was just enough.

9. No more Goody Cuddy (quite possibly the funniest thing from the recap last week.) She wore a very nice red blouse this time.

Now, my only gripe is that the good folks at NBC decided to broadcast "My Name Is Earl" at the same time. And I really like Jason Lee too. Dangit.

...And is it really freaky that I think I saw my ex-landlord in the Hurricane Rita coverage on the local news? I'd recognize that crew cut anywhere.

Safe Water-

So I got a text message from Magicdude today- my friend in the Keys. He's dealing with Hurricane Rita in typical Magicdude (and honestly, typical KW resident) fashion. Namely, drinking his face off. Many of the bars are still open, simply shuttered, and waiting for the winds and rain to die down.

Did I leave too soon?

So I'm officially Official at work now. I've shed my red "temp scum" nametag, and have a brand new shiny blue "no, really- I work here" badge. I feel so... special.

No news on the rednecks next door, she's still there, but nobody knows why.

Other things? Going well. Hate to say it, but when I'm happy, I'm pretty boring. I don't actively have something to froth at the mouth about, but I'm sure I will shortly. (I could bitch about how much my arm hurts because I had my Hep B vaccine AND my second freakin' PPD test done on the same arm, but frankly, it's not worth it. Though I would really like to know where I got the bruise on the top of my right hand. Goofy.)


Alrighty, then.

I'm eagerly waiting to find out if my craptastic HEROIN (if the police officer is to be believed) dealing/using/housing neighbor and her dudes du jour got hauled off to the pokey today.

The suspense, she is killing me. More when I know it, because I know y'all care.

Orientation today was actually not repulsive or idiotic. The team-building exercises were not tedious, and I didn't have to touch anyone. In all, I call that a pretty damned good day. I did learn that I've got over 6,000 co-workers. I kinda wondered how many were there. We're apparently the largest employer in the county. Scary.

Alright, I'm going to go rip these pantyhose off, and see if what I can do without actually being near a window. Apparently someone's trottin' around up there with a gun in the waistband of his pants. Looooooooovely. (He's not brandishing it, so I don't really have a reason to call the cops. After all, it's not like we* don't shoot squirrels from our back porch. He may just not like squirrels.)

*When I say "we" I don't mean me. I've never fired a weapon before.


Comin' at ya this Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!

The folks at the Ravens head office had decided today would be a day when they'd exert "secondary market dominance". But lets get real. Nobody isgoing to give a shit about a putrid game between the Boller-less Ravens and the equally sucktastic Tennesee Titans. Not even fans in Baltimore are going to care, much less those of us in Central PA. Please. They've got KORDELL STEWART as a backup QB. We got rid of him because he sucked, and Chicago got rid of him, presumably because he... sucks. (And if Chicago thinks you suck, really, you should just quit football altogether, because the next step is the AZ Cardinals or the Detroit Lions, and that's a fate worse than death.)

Where was I? Oh yeah. Blackout. So instead of watching a game that would be at least quasi-interesting, what with Roethlisberger's questionable status for today's game, and the dawning of the "Fast" Willie Parker era, they're going to broadcast the Baltimore Crapfest. This means I have to go out to watch the game. Good, because I can scream at the TV with 20 other people. Bad, because sports bars are generally chain-smokers paradises. That? Sucks. (If you want to smoke, bully for you. Congrats. I applaud your choice. I'd choose a sports bar that doesn't permit smoking, but they don't exist, so I'll just be over here ruining my stomach with painkillers while you ruin both our lungs with smoke. Thanks! Awesome! Keep on puffin', baby!)

Shit. Got off on a tangent again.

(And yes, I have sattelite TV. But it's the wrong sattelite network to get NFL Direct Ticket.)

Anyway, "Have to leave the house to watch the game" contingency superstitions are in effect. No knitting during the game, but I'll do some beforehand, Jersey and tank are prepared, shorts are in the wash right now. There's a quesadilla out there with my name on it, and now the only decision I have to make is whether I'm going to the place that has the 2.50 Iron City Bottle special and paper-towel-less bathroom, or the place with the small bar and decent ladies room. Probably whichever one is less smoky. (The former.)

I think that even with Roethlisberger questionable, we'll be fine. In all honesty, I think he'll play. He did practice on Friday (I believe) and that's usually a good sign. Even if he isn't in, I think that as long as they can get Maddox to hand off the ball (which he tends to do anyway, he's not much on the passing) and have Parker and/or Bettis (I think Staley's still out, or Staley's questionable, and Bettis is definitely out) run it like a motherfucker, we'll mop the floor with the Texans. (And I'm a bit happy to see that they did re-sign Charlie Batch. I thought he was doing fine during the pre-season, and he can play as well as, if not better than Maddox. PS- Personal to Tommy Maddox: Those visors make you look like a dork. Some people, such as myself, are not meant to wear ball caps and/or visors. You're one of those people, so just stop it. Now. I mean it. You're a QB. A backup QB, but a QB none the less. Start LOOKING like one.)

For the rest of you out there who like football, I hope your respective teams do pretty well. Unless, of course, you're a Texans fan. In which case- you're going down.

edited to add: Crazy Pre-game Superstitions 2, Steelers Opponents 0. And today, at Players, I made new friends. Because 45 year old guys seem to find a fat girl in a Steelers jersey irresistible. And personal note to the other girls who came to the bar: Honeys. It's a sports bar. A sparkly skirt and halter top is unnecessary. Enough hairspray to fill the Hindenberg is not necessary. Full makeup is not necessary. The boys are not going to look at you unless you come in naked, wearing nothing but body paint in their team colors. And even then, they're not going to look unless you're directly in front of the big screen. And that's only going to be to tell you to move. So seriously. Give it up. It's Players. Not Coyote Ugly.

Side note to Anon, if you're perusing, I hope your party was swell. I had good intentions, but ended up on the phone for 3 hours. (And frankly, I don't talk to anyone on the phone for much longer than 3 minutes, if I can help it, so this was an occasion.) And we need a name for you, Anon. Suggestions?


Write Things Down!

Because invariably, when you delay touching up your haircolor because you're cheap/lazy, you'll forget the name/brand of color you really liked the last time, and will wind up with a color that is tolerable, but definitely not what you were aiming for.

Then you'll be cranky.

And instead of having nice, warm, brownish auburn hair, you have really dark/bright auburn. Which is OK, but meh...

And you'll probably forget again for the next time that Feria Cinnamon is NOT the color you wanted, and you should have gotten the Loreal 5RB instead.

All bets are off, man...

So the unthinkable happened.

I've officially met a blog reader.

Well. I've met him before, but now he knows who I am. And a seven year old bet has been settled.

For those of you not in the know, "Anonymous" who comments here on a semi-regular basis is a bit of a local celebrity (thus stated to keep his ego in check). And Anon. and I moved in similar circles, but didn't know each other- I know a friend of his. Anyway... by sheer virtue of his local celebrity, there developed a bet amongst my circle of friends.

Namely: The first one of us to lick Anonymous, in public, in full view of at least one other member of the group, would win a bottle of the alcohol of their choosing.

Well tonight I got a last-minute invite to a party, and given my giddy mood said, "Why the hell not?" especially because there was a very good chance that a particularly nice piece of eye/mind candy would be present (who has not been discussed here, Anon, but WAS there.) and because, frankly, I wanted a damned beer.

We get there, and shortly thereafter, Anon shows up. Long story short... G. Monkey Licked Anon, and has thus won the biggest bottle of whatever the hell she wants. And so, a seven year old bet is laid to rest... Amazing. I honestly never thought it would happen.

And Anon can attest: I swear twice as much in person as I do on here. Any other comments he'll make... well, that's his bag. (But remember, I know where you live, so they'd better damned well be at least semi-kind.)


Oh MY.

So. Without getting into a lot of squishy details, I'm gonna tell you a little story. It's the story of why I'm so freakin' giddy today.

So a long time ago, Most Perfect Mom Ever, and Graphic Design God got married. I was MPME's maid of honor (snort away, but I am awesome at that stuff- later I'll tell you the story about how I made 2 of the bridesmaids cry). GDG's best man was a guy we'll call... Hypostomus. Lacépède (google it) for his choice in facial hair, or HL for short. HL was, in a word, hot. (In a few more words? Funny, intelligent, clever, and a swell dancer.) And as a bonus? We got along like a house on fire, we did.

The only problems? He had a girlfriend (that honestly, none of us much liked because she was a bit of a manipulative me-monkey) and oh.. he lived in O-fucking-hio. We spent a lot of time during the wedding weekend together, and met up a couple times afterwards, when he was in town. No monkey business, everything was strictly above-board and reasonably chaperoned. We lost touch after a while- these things happen.

So flash forward to today. When I discover:
1. He's working in my hospital
2. He's going to have to come to my office to get his paycheck.

This is when I lost my shit. In a good way.

See, I had heard he might be coming back, and if he did, he was going to work at one of the hospitals (we've got 3 major ones) and learn to be a Radiology Tech. I just never thought he'd be working at mine. Well he is. And he did come down for his check. And after he got his check, and finally figured out who I was (I look nothing like I did the last time I saw him- he says "Wow- you got taller, and you're a redhead now!" I think I still wore my glasses back then too, and had really, really short hair. so, to his credit, I wouldn't have recognized me either.) he came back down to my office and we caught up for like an hour... (Nobody else was around, and I typed while he chatted.

And we clicked again, I might say.

I also might say he's even better looking now. (And I certainly hope I am...)

Who knows where this will lead. He's hanging out at MPME & GDG's house tonight so I'm sure all parties will get the scoop. (I called MPME on my way home, and gave her advance warning.)

Anyway, I'm a giddy little bastard right now, and will perhaps make mention of this again if anything develops.

And of course my boss loved the Key Lime pie. (If he didn't he's an excellent liar.) I have to say, it was pretty freakin' tasty- and you can find the recipe in Foodage.

Special Sauce is a Mean, Mean girl.

Because I referenced it above, here's the story about why I'm the meanest Maid of Honor ever...

As you may know, the job of the Maid of Honor is to keep stuff going, be there to address envelopes, arrange a bridal shower, do crafty stuff if necessary, and pretty much be at the bride's beck and call. And I? LOVE that stuff. When Most Perfect Mom Ever got married, we made a lot of stuff ourselves. I'm super proud of the fact that I made her headpiece and veil and embellished her shoes for the wedding, and reception, as well as for her sister and I during the reception. We had a blast.

One of the other jobs the Maid of Honor has is to run interference for the bride on her wedding day. You know, deal with shit so she doesn't have to. Well, when MPME got married, among the bridesmaids were 2 Teenaged cousins (twins) and her sister was a junior bridesmaid- I think she was like 14? 13? back then... We all carpooled to the church- some of us in different vehicles... and the twins and MPME's sister were snitty because the person who drove their car yelled at them for being late or something. And they were flinging massive 'tude at the bride.

Well... she started stressing because she wanted to smooth things over, and Everyone else didn't want her to be stressing... So I got to go yell at the girls for behaving like 3 year olds and not realizing that they were being treated like grownups, so they had to act like one, at least for the next 8 hours. And I? Made them cry. Because I? Am a horrible. Terrible woman. But you know what? They apologized to MPME. And they acted like grownups the rest of the day.

And the rest? Is history...
(OK, maybe you had to be there...)


Damn, but I'm boring.

I really have nothing to report except the following:

I am making my first Key Lime Pie tonight. Tomorrow is one of my boss's birthdays, and the other secretary and I are making him KLP (his favorite, apparently).

I still hate having blood drawn.

I am enjoying some tasty Vietnamese food as I type. (Mock duck lo mein, mock duck springroll, and beef and fried potatoes. Oh, how I love the sharing method.)

G. Monkey and I came up with some really funny stuff last night involving some old cookbook photographs, and snarky comments. Once I have a sample I'll share.

And because I'm so dull today, why don't you go click the links on the right, and see some people who are vastly more exciting than I?
Edited to add: In fact, you should go read Orphie the Wonder Dog, because she has linked to me, and that? ROCKS.


It's TV time!

OK, I'd like the head writer for House brought to my...err...house. (And perhaps Hugh Laurie too, just for gigles) so I can thank him, or at least shake his damned hand. Tonight's episode? AWESOME.

LL Cool J? Mama said drinking copier toner knock you out. (Even if it did take me till the credits to stop going "Damnit, who IS that? Shit, I know I should know this!")

Cameron? Shut. Up. Shut up. SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP. Do your job. Shut up. P.S. Shut Up Cameron's Hair.

House? Shit. He'd mock my ass from here to London and back again, and I'd still probably crawl over shattered used urine sample containers to [this portion censored in the name of decency]

Cuddy? Peter Pan collars, even when paired with a kicky self tie, do not flatter you. At all. Trust me.

Chase? Wombat.

Foreman Car Thief? Wha-huh? Damnit, I should have paid better attention.

I even really liked the closing song, even if I can't remember where the hell I've heard it before. Anyone? Anyone?

Overall, good writing, great acting (mostly), whupped the ass of "Bones". That was a gigantic disappointment. I was so excited to see a show about a forensic anthropologist, because c'mon people, Anthropology is COOL. Forensic Anthropology? Cool to the 30th degree. But instead, we get 10% cool shit, and 90% boring, irritating, laborious intrapersonal drama and lurve life establishment. Fuck. They coulda done so much better for the pilot. I'll watch it again just to see if this was a fluke, but something tells me it's not likely. Sure, House has a ridiculously formulaic plot (Someone has a mysterious illness. Nobody knows what will cure them, but they're going to try shit, the patient will almost die, and miraculously not die [in the A plot] around minute 48/52.) But it's funny. It redeems itself.

I sense a rant coming on, but I think I'll stifle it, so I can get some sleep. Besides, I have a date with Joe Queenan, and that lovely little bedside tome- The Malcontents

Well it's about durned time!

Ok, it's officially official. I got the call this afternoon. My "real live, honest to Elvis" start date is the 19th. Pay's a dollar an hour more than Bosslady, with real benefits, decent coworkers, and the place ain't goin' anywhere.

I declare this development "Awesome!"

In other news, well, there really isn't any other news, but I did just get home from work, so that could change.


Hot Links

And I'm not talking Sausage.

Go check out AJ's blog, read his story of meeting one of the bloggers he reads, and how he ended up in said blogger's short film.

And when you're done? Well, you won't be quite so freaked out as me, because I've discovered that AJ and my friend Horsty were separated at birth, but you will marvel at the spiffy film, and beg directors to "C'mon, and hire the man already!"

No, really. Separated at birth.

Here's Horsty. Now, go look at AJ. (I'll wait.) Eerie, no? (maybe it's just me.)

Why, Lord? Why?

It is official. I have read the stupidest letter to the editor ever.
The headline?

Why Katrina? Abortion!

I just can't make this shit up. And they were serious too. And the paper printed it. And it makes me weep, just a little more, for humanity. They say that "God has warned us twice now, once with the attacks on 9/11, and now the hurricane. The next one will make these two seem like Sunday School picnics."


I... I just don't even know where to begin. And I know that if I write a letter in rebuttal right now, it will be so filled with cursing, and thinly-veiled insults regarding the letter writer's lineage (and how perhaps his mother should have considered birth control), that it will never be printed.

I bet it's the same guy that wrote the letter years ago "Worker Shortage? Blame Abortion!" because tourist traps were having a hard time staffing their visitor-bilking Amish-Exploitation sites. I should be used to it by now, I guess, but every time I think they can't get any dumber, someone tops the last letter. Though, I maybe I envy the guy just a little bit. To have so much faith in something that you're willing to make a complete and utter ass of yourself in the local newspaper... To have that kind of a faith must be comforting. Well, when you're not crapping your pants in fear of a vengeful God, I suppose.


Very Superstitious

It's the first real Steelers game of the year, and the superstitions? They abound. Everybody's got their own quirks, and I've got 'em in spades.

The following traditions/superstitions were followed today, and a victory ensued-

1. The uniform. (Bettis practice jersey. Black tank top, underwear, & bra. Pigtails in yellow holders. [hair may be worn down, but if it's done up, it has to be in the correct colors] ) When it gets colder, my cutoffs will be replaced by jeans, and the tank by a long sleeved black shirt, but everything else stays the same.

2. The knitting (I didn't knit the whole game, but did until halftime. It was enough.) And yes, it was a project I'd worked on last season. Yes, It is important.

3. The meal. Kielbasa, onions, & pierogi cooked in a bottle of Yuengling, washed down with a bottle of Iron City. The meal requirement can be altered if the game is being watched at Players sportsbar. Instead of the kielbasa and crew, a quesadilla is deemed lucky.

It probably also didn't hurt that the Titans sucked rotten eggs, and "Fast" Willie Parker is a little dervish, and Roethlisberger is indeed the man... but hey, I'd like to think that I had a little to do with it. Heh.

And the best part about football season has returned. Of course I'm speaking of Gregg Easterbrook's fabulous column at NFL.com, Tuesday Morning Quarterback. Because, honestly, America's only All Haiku Football Predictions? Fucking BRILLIANT. His weekly commentary makes me the happiest kid in the land, on Tuesdays. Intelligent, well written, long as all get out. Love. It.


The Incredible Return of Cheddar!

Or: Behold, the power of dick cheese.

So the all-call went out yesterday morning for a Cheddar Theater, which was indeed needed in the worst way possible. Plus, Horsty promised midgets, and there's nothing I like better than a good midget (or something like that). G. Monkey put the journal to bed at 1:00 on Friday morning, and then called Crazy now EX bosslady at the Little Literary Nonprofit That Could (cause burning sensations when you pee) to tell her that (and I'm paraphrasing) "You can kiss my ass before I ever do this shit for you again, so cut me my check, cut the design guy his check, and good luck ever getting someone to put up with your crazy-assed bullshit for practically nothing the way we did. See you in hell, Bitchcakes." of course, she might have been a bit more polite than that. Still, rough week for the Monkstress.

Apparently things were craptastic all around, so we ended up going for the stupid/funny ticket, and watched Psycho Beach Party. Lauren Ambrose, kicky 60s bathing suits, a homoerotic subtext (which encouraged the Professor to show exactly WHY he's the king of pantomime blowjobs...), and a surprise shout out to midgets made this movie perfect for an evening of laughing our asses off. I was actually laughing so hard, I started coughing bits of lung up. If you're up for a double feature- catch Psycho Beach Party AND the Lost Skeleton of Cadavra. Match made in heaven.

We also caught a little of the Rik Mayall/Adrian Edmundson show Bottom, and if I were the pirating type, I'd be getting Horsty to make me a copy of it. (I am. Feds, come get me.) If "Smells" was anything to judge the rest of it by, it's feckin' hysterical. Really, really quite good.

An excellent night, and I really like Miss J, the newest member of the group- she's a hoot.

The weekend should be good- of course, this morning Fat Elvis bit my finger (nice clean bite too, I have 2 holes in the top of my ring finger. When they heal up some, I may draw fangs underneath for a nice little face, but I'm a bit odd anyway). If there are egregious mistakes in here, blame him.

Maa's art show at the codger corral for really rich people (Not the one we work/ed for)started last night, and she's already sold 3 paintings. She is most pleased, and will probably sell more as the time goes on. Seems she sold a few the last time too. Huzzah.

I'm off to pay bills, make a few beaded ID lanyards for work, and perhaps start the fabric hunt for my halloween costume (Mermaid). I've done the sketches, and have a good idea of how I want the thing to look and a semi-decent idea how to do it, the hardest part will be the actual pattern drafting, and the wiring of the tail so that it flips up, and slightly away from my feet. (Because I took the easy way out last year, this year's has to be spectacular.)


So what are you trying to tell me?

So they've all but said I've got the job, but they haven't officially made the offer. So, knowing my luck, they'll change their mind when Supertemp (dum da dum!) comes strolling in the door. But I did have my "interview" with my boss today, and my "benefits rundown" with HR today. I have some phone interview thingee where they determine if you're a homicidal axe murderer or not, tomorrow, and then I should know officially by the end of tomorrow, or beginning of next week. And my tentative Orientation date is the 26th. (Assuming I'm not a homicidal axe murderer.)

But their benefits? Kick it.

Health insurance after 1 month. (And it's GOOD insurance for 40.00/month)
4 sick, 4 personal, 6 holidays, and 10 vacation days per year.
Discount tickets to local stuff.
Dry cleaning pickup/delivery onsite (not that I ever dry clean anything...)
Base rate is .68 cents an hour more than I was making for Bosslady, and could start out at a dollar an hour more than she paid me. AND when they ask me to do a project? They give me what I need in order to complete it. Who'da thunk it?
Did I mention the health insurance? And believe you me, the first thing I'll be doing on the 27th of October is gettin' my brain prodded, my coochie peeked at, and a real physical (not one of those ones you can get from a guy in a pinto at the swap meet for 15.00, a REAL physical). And I'm getting drugs. LOTS of drugs. It's true what they say- when you have insurance, you use it. When you don't, well... lets just say it ain't pretty. (New Yorker had a good article about this a few weeks back, tying in moral consumerism or some such...)

I am feeling a bit more human today, but a bit guilty- the other secretary in the office was home sick today with the same galloping plague I have. The whole thing's on an accelerated track- with Contac and some sleep, I felt a lot better today, and I'm sure I'll be better still by the weekend. I think we must have gotten the funk from the same source- someone who visited the office...

Anyway, I'll keep y'all posted. This will be the first job in over a year where I'll have had stability AND insurance AND a steady paycheck all at once. I could plotz.


Guh Muh Ng, Durzgh AbMiduztrazun...

(Loosely translated- "Good morning, Nursing Administration..." And let me tell you, my voice today? SEXAY. 48 packs of cigarettes a day sexy.)

Yeah. So Sunday afternoon I started to get a sore throat.
By the time I "went to bed" Sunday Night even breathing was a bit of a hassle.

When Monday rolled around, I was contemplating how I could exist without a throat. I spent much of the day with a heat wrap around my neck, sucking down hot tea and advil.

I freakin' HATE cold and flu season. I'm sure this is some kind of fucked up "Oh, you've got a job? Great. You're working with people? Wonderful! Here's a big old handful of the diseases that are going around! Enjoy!" sort of thing.

Today I can breathe, and swallow without wincing (minds out of the gutter, gentlemen.) Well, breathing is a bit iffy- because now the congestion is starting. I may or may not be at work tomorrow. I'm going to try- because really- where else is a better place to be sick than a room packed to the rafters with RNs? And I do want to make a good impression because..

OH YEAH- I HAVE THE JOB! Heh. We discuss salary and stuff on Thursday.

So I'd like to NOT tarnish that, but we are caught up, and if I look/sound/feel like death, there's no reason to go passing it around to everyone else.

Anyway. If you don't hear from me for a few days, it's because the mound of kleenex has suffocated me.


Why I care.

Aside from it being the decent thing to do, that is.

When I worked for Borders, I helped to open the store in Metairie, LA. I just heard that it has been severely damaged, and is closed until further notice. I hope, and yes, pray, that the staff evacuated in time.

The store had an inauspicious start, really. Stephee, you'll remember this story. (And if you know any information about the present situation, email me, eh?)

First off, we had tropical storm after tropical storm during the sort (the physical process of unloading about 4 squillion heavy-assed boxes off of tractor trailers, sorting them by letter, and then getting every damned book out of boxes, into categories, alphabetized, and training the staff. The whole process takes about 3 weeks. Our loading dock flooded repeatedly. We tried to see how fast we could unload a skid of boxes. (Fastest time? Under 1 minute, thirty seconds.) I sorted kids, reference, science, cooking, crafts/collectibles, and something else. It felt like the entire second floor was my domain. And I got sick. I had the worst cold ever, and completely lost my voice in the middle of customer service training.

Somewhere, there's a picture of me asleep on a gigantic trash bag filled with packing peanuts, during a 15 minute break.

It was one of the hardest sorts I ever did, but the store was beautiful. Our sections were pristine, the local staff didn't make fun of me too much for being hyperactive in comparison to their relaxed southern demeanor. They did mock the way I said "orange" though. Heh. I loved the trips we took for lunch, dinner, and on our days off.

Then came opening weekend.

And Hurricane Georges.

They'd been calling for evacuations for a few days, perhaps? Or at the least, warning that the storm was coming. The locals didn't seem to care, so I wasn't terribly worried. But Saturday came, and things looked a bit more dire. The store opened, but most of my time was not spent helping customers, rather, being on the phone with the airlines, seeing if I could get a flight out earlier than Monday. Several of us decided to get the hell out of dodge. I thought I had a flight for Sunday morning, and decided to go with another trainer to the airport on Saturday night. Somehow, I realized the flight was really for Monday night.

And this is the moment when I lost my shit. I trudged around the airport, trying to exchange my ticket, and having NO luck. And I cried. A lot. And did the one quasi-intelligent thing I could think of. I called my mom. In the middle of the night. And I begged her to find me a way the hell out of there, because I really didn't want to experience my first hurricane in the skyways lounge of the New Orleans airport. I was sick, exhausted, and freaked out of my mind. And somehow they got me on the last plane out of NOLA, into Dallas. The airline put me up in a hotel for a few hours, and eventually I made my way back to PA. I had never been so happy to come home.

The trainers that decided to stay behind ended up abandoning our hotel for the relative safety of the store. Some of the staff who lacked adequate shelter, ended up joining them. Together they rode the storm out, sleeping on broken down cardboard boxes, finishing off the store (Dedicated bastards) until the power was back on and the floodwaters had subsided.

I wouldn't be surprised if some of the folks I worked with back then, are still at the store. I hope everyone is safe, and will soon be accounted for.

A confession.

Hi. My name's Special Sauce and I... I... this is so hard to say. I've built my whole reputation around a contrary nature but... I... like my job.

There. I've said it.

Sure, I'm still in the honeymoon period. And apparently one of my potential future bosses (PFB for short) is apparently a total bitch on wheels, but she's not my direct problem- she has her own secretary.

But damnit, I like what I'm doing. Mostly, being perky, answering the phone, recreating documents, typing minutes, and setting up for meetings. Yesterday, I was the paycheck princess. I handed out everyone's paychecks. I'm also the duchess of reports, because the girl who is training me hates to run them. I have them done by 9:30 every morning, and the Nurse Managers think I'm the second coming of Elvis. It's really kinda nice.

And everyone I've seen? Smiling. Ok, maybe not every single person, but the Department of Health guys? Smiling. Housekeeping dudes? Smiling. The guy who made the chicken sandwich I picked up for my trainer? Smiling like a fuckin' loon. Even the ones who don't smile at least make eye contact and acknowledge you as a human being. Screw Disney, the gigantic megahospital (of doom) is the happiest place on earth.

Whatever will I bitch about now?

There's another hurricane rant a building inside me, but I will use my powers for good instead.

Right now I'd like to personally bludgeon GWB to death with an emergency toiletries kit. I have a feeling that I'll still want to do this in a few weeks, so in the meantime, I urge you to do whatever you can to help Katrina's victims. Want to put together a toiletries kit? (You can always recreate it to beat people with later)- hit your local dollar store, drug store, or mass retailer, or break into your hotel/motel stash and snag:
Shaving cream, shampoo, deodorant, brushes, combs, washcloths, hand towels, toothbrushes, toothpaste, hand lotion... you may want to slip a note inside too, telling people you're thinking of them. Slap that all in a 1 gallon ziplock bag, and you can deliver it to a church (call first, but I can't imagine that people wouldn't be sending them) or your local red cross (again, call to see if they're sending them). Kids kits would also be useful- basic toiletries plus crayons, activity books, or maybe a small stuffed animal, and for babies- wipes, baby oil/lotion, a small toy, or what have you, would be greatly appreciated.

Broke? Give blood. In fact, donating blood is something you can do year round, doesn't cost you a dime, and honestly doesn't hurt that badly (says the woman who is petrified of needles, yet doesn't mind donating blood.)

Buying groceries? Most every grocery store in my town, and I'm willing to bet in yours too, is taking donations- they'll make it quick and painless by adding a dollar, five, or whatever you want, onto your total. They may also take donations of nonperishable goods for food banks.

Don't forget the animals. Noah's Wish is there.

Turn your disgust at the government's lack of celerity, and support the organizations that ARE making a difference. And next time around? Vote The Motherfuckers OUT.



Ok, as many of you know, I'm from Amish Country. Someone just sent me this listing of "You know you're from Amish country when..."

And the sad thing is? Yeah. It's true.

You know you're from Amish Country When:

* Your idea of Chicken Pot Pie has nothing to do w/ a pie & you dont
understand why people might think it would.
Yep, and there are fierce debates over whether non-homemade-noodles count or not.

* Your driving lessons included learning to avoid horse droppings.

* You know how to cook but not w/ butter.
This is lard country, y'all. But I've never done that, honest.

* You know what a fire hall wedding is. Shit, I've been IN firehall weddings.

* You've been to a Chicken & Waffle dinner. And in Florida? They looked at me like I had 7 heads when i said I would kill for some chicken & waffles.

* You spend at least 30 minutes every summer day complaining about New
Jersey drivers.
Yeah, and 75 bitching about New York drivers. Douchebags.

* You don't understand why people would ever want to see the Amish.

* The local post office used to be a single-family home & they close
between noon & 1 for lunch.

* You have ever ended a sentence with "a while".
All the fucking time, man.

* You do not giggle when you see the following signs:

-- Lititz
-- Intercourse
-- Blue Ball
-- Bird-In-Hand
-- Mount Joy

Heh. Mom worked for the Blue Ball National Bank. Go ahead and snicker. I still do.

* You've heard of 7-11 but have never seen one.

* You cannot buy beer & wine from the same store.

* Park City has nothing to do w/ skiing for you.
(It's the mall, y'all!)

* You pronounce Lancaster in "Burt Lancaster" differently from
Lancaster in "Lancaster PA".

* And you giggle at people who say "Aee-mish".

* Your iced tea is sweeter than pepsi.
And more addictive than crack, when you buy Turkey Hill.

* You know someone who repairs gasoline-powered lawn mowers, but is
forbidden to own one.

* You think Fasnacht Day & Groundhog Day are national holidays.
You mean they're not? And more importantly- if you have the debate over whether Punxsuatawney Phil is the real deal or that stuffed, nailed to a fucking log, piece of crap prognosticator Octorara Orphie is the true groundhog... guess where I side?

* You know who James Buchanan was. And you drive by his house regularly.

* You dont have to be told what Shoo Fly Pie is. And know the difference between (and can make) wet bottom and dry.

* You outen the lights at the end of the day.

* You go to the store when the milk is "all".

* You think orange traffic cones are the natural foliage around route

* The word "red" is a verb.

* "Come with?" is a complete sentence
. Well, it is...

* You know what donkey baseball is.

* At times you utter things like, "Throw over the fence some hay".

* It may be raining, but the question is: "Is it making it down?" or
"Is it really making it down?".

* The verb "to be" is useless : "Does Fido need out?".

* You remember when Park City Mall had a flea market in the basement.
Or worse yet, a skating rink.

* You know that "long johns" are something you eat, not something you
And there's only one real place to buy 'em too.

* You own quilts & know their names.

* You know what a Turkey Hill is & you've ditched school to hang out

* You've corrected all the errors while watching "Witness".
Yep. And you giggle at them too.

* Rush hour is on a Saturday afternoon -- in the summer. Which is where you spend the majority of your "Fucking NY/NJ Drivers" rage...

* Your Wan has a Vindshield Vipers (and so does ur Station Vagon).

* You recognize "Twin Kiss" & "Freez & Frizz", knowing Dairy Queen is a
pale imitation.

* Dutch Wonderland is neither Dutch nor much of a Wonderland.

* WGAL is the source of all local celebrities & they create quite a
stir when they shop in the supermarket.
(or read your blog. You still around?)

* You go out of state just to drive on smooth roads.

* You've ordered "dippy eggs" for breakfast.
Well, doesn't everyone?

* The Green Dragon aint no Chinese restaurant. And Stephee? You've BEEN there! All I'm going to say is "Liver Pudding" Is not a flavor Jell-O will come up with any time soon, but the guys at Green Dragon? Alllllll up in that.

* Bacon drippings are an ingredient for making salad dressing.

* You think tourists attractions consist of a pretzel factory, a
chocolate factory & an amish family out for a drive.

* You know the only way to make good Fasnachts is to cook them in lard. And more importantly, you know WHAT a Fasnacht is, and where the best place to buy them is.

* You live within 2 miles of a plant that makes potato chips, corn
chips, pretzels, candy or ice cream, or that packages turkeys, beans or

* You do things "once," as in "I'll go check in the backroom once".

* You can stop along the road to buy fruit, vegetables or crafts on the
"honor system".
And do. Often.

* You know that chicken corn soup from a firehouse is the most perfect
food on earth.
And indeed, it is. Preferably when it's rivel free, but rivels aren't the end of the world...

* You say things like "outen the lights", "I'm calling off work today"
and "They're calling for snow".

* You've heard of distelfinks & hex signs.

* You consider Pittsburgh to be "out west" and you know the fastest way
to Philly is the Turnpike.

* When it snows, they put cinders on the road instead of sand.

* Words like: gumband, buggie, hoagie, chipped beef, scrapple, actually
mean something to you.

Hee. It's really, really sad, but really, really true. Of course, I also have a healthy dose of Western PA Goober in my background too- Makes for an interesting mix. (Kettles? No, dad says that's a Kyittle. You wrench out your warshcloth, you drink pop, and all pop is coke. "What kinda coke ya got?" "root beer, sprite, coke", you keep your photos in an alblum, you listen to the polka show on Sunday mornings, and the noon news on the radio tells you who's in the hospital, and winter lasts from late September through July.)


I said c'mon, c'mon, c'mon, and take it...

Take another little piece of my heart (walk) now baby...

Ok, here's where I get all PSA like, but promise not to scream like Janis, because frankly, none of us could stand that. I don't want to come so quickly on the heels of a tragedy such as the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, because I KNOW that's tacky, but I wanted to put this out.

Heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States. Number One. I just found that out, and it blew my tiny little mind. I always figured it was Breast Cancer, because BCA gets all the press. And for the general population? Heart disease and stroke are ranked number one and number three on the old "causes of death" scale. Think it can't happen to you? Think it would never happen in your family? Think again.

My dad's had at least two heart attacks, and probably more. He wasn't even aware he was having them, just thought he was experiencing a bad backache. My aunts and uncles have high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Chances are, there's someone in your family who does too. That's why I've decided to walk in this year's American Heart Association Heart Walk.

I'm looking for sponsors, if anyone's interested. You don't have to. Honestly, you won't hurt my feelings, and I won't sign you up for bestiality websites if you read this and don't donate. (You don't even have to tell me you can't do it- trust me, I know how tight money can be, and the folks in NOLA and the rest of the gulf coast are a priority.) If you are interested, you can donate through my personal Red Cross site (Email me, or leave me a comment asking for the link, and I'll send it to you). (I think the site only takes donations of $25.00 and up, however, if you'd like to send me a check or money order for less than that I can give you a mailing address, and the appropriate agency information.)

Again, just to reiterate, if you already gave to Katrina victims, and are tapped out, or are busted, like I've been for the past few months, don't worry. But if you're able to, and want to, I'd appreciate your support, and so will the hundreds of thousands of people who receive support and services from the American Heart Association.

We will return to your regularly scheduled blog tomorrow...