Saturday, April 30, 2005

The Cowardly Monster

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Jennifer Wilbanks, a.k.a. The Georgia Bogeywoman

I am beside myself with disgust for this “woman.” I use quotes because, really, this loathsome creature of the female persuasion is not, in my eyes, a true woman; she is a hideous rectum, a simpering limp noodle, a selfish, self-centered, atypical example of womanhood. She is an embarrassment not only to herself, but to her family and friends, not to mention her poor fiancé who was basically ditched at the altar in front of the entire world. She is a quiet monster, one who hid her fangs and claws beneath a nurse's uniform, a living, breathing bogeywoman who produced fear in the collective soul of the concerned public, well-wishers like myself who worried and grieved over the possible loss of such a vibrant, seemingly lovely individual, who cursed the evils of this oftentimes troubling, unfair world. She monopolized the efforts of Duluth’s finest, whose time would’ve best been spent on finding real abductees, missing children, lost old folks…

The anguish she caused her loved ones is unimaginable.

Fuck you, Wilbanks. May you one day find yourself trapped in a loveless marriage to a bogeyman of your very own (after you’ve had your tubes tied, of course -- wouldn’t want innocent children brought into your sick world, now would we?) who finds great pleasure in slapping you up after he’s indulged in a case of Miller. I hope he calls you names like Lantern Jaw and Chicken-Boned Bitch. I hope he knocks you around your dirty little kitchenette, puts you through the wall of your stinking mobile home. You need to understand what true pain and suffering is all about, sister. Here’s to a dark future.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Delusional Rescue

As I lay hot towels over your bones, the transformation begins
The pain will go now, simply by wishing it away
I can melt each sliver of glass with my laser-thoughts, I can
Freeze the coals into cool submission, I can
Stun the bees, make them quiet and humble, I can
Smooth down the quills, turn them to silk, I can
Crush, I can pulverize, liquefy and shush, I can
Shame it, disrespect it, humiliate it to dust, I can
Make it leave you now, I can, I can, I can
Turn back time, flip it, twist it over, I can
Snap you back to 1983, far from tonight, I can
Wash the future with my vision, disinfect, prevent, I can
Rock this universe with my rage, throw stars, heave planets, I can
Destroy fate with my galactic tantrum, I can, I can
Make this all come true, because I am Superwoman, fucking
Superwoman, transformed, powerful, I can
Lay hot towels over your bones, wish it all away, so help me, I can
Pray, so help me, I will pray

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Bitch, Please

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(click to enlarge Mr. Terry's self-portrait -- the likeness is amazing)

How can anyone have so much talent? Oh, it's not enough that T.M. Wright's fiction kicks most righteous ass, or that his poetry can bring tears (or laughter) to the eyes of anyone with a heart...Yes, my eyes actually laughed while reading one of his poems. No, the gods saw fit to bless the man with incredible artistic ability as well.

I'm groaning in awe even as I type this.

I swear, if I find out Terry can also sing like Tom Jones, I may be forced to, I dunno, worship him or something. I'd have to buy steel wool pads and glue them onto the face of my daughter's Ken doll, then set Ken/Terry on my bookshelf (in front of the many, many T.M. Wright books I own, of course), light a musk-scented candle, open a bag of Fritos, and totally, like, pray to Ken/Terry for fame and fortune.


In completely unrelated news, Constantine sucked tonight. Bo, however, certainly did not.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Rob Zombie

Friday, April 23, 11:00 p.m.:

So I’m watching Shaun of the Dead with my brother, enjoying myself immensely, what with the seventh beer comfortably floating in my gut amongst the McDonald’s Filet O’ Fish sandwich and two pounds of fries I’d consumed, when suddenly, Rob decides to stand up and dart about the room in a most obscene manner. Startled, I immediately ask him if he‘s okay. Was he ill? Did the four McChicken sandwiches disagree with him, perhaps? Rob ignores my concern and continues darting about, thrusting his pelvis machinegun-like as he pigeon-necks around my living room on wobbly legs, his eyes glassy, his mouth hanging grotesquely, his ample belly quivering like a bowl full of jellied brains.

He was the picture of true idiocy.

It took me a moment to realize that what I was witnessing wasn’t The Agonizing Dance of Gluttony, but the very beginnings of a brand new impression called The Shambling Zombie, and a fine impression it was, too -- certainly among the finest in his bizarre repertoire, maybe the best yet. Better than his Bill Clinton, his Michael Landon, better even than my personal favorite, Xenon the Extremely Perturbed Space Traveler (which you simply must see to believe).

I insisted that Rob not drive home, as The Shambling Zombie was art born of many, many beers, and I believe in being a responsible hostess. Rob agreed, and we said our goodnights. I thought I’d filled my allotted monthly laughter quota that night, but happily, I was wrong.

The next morning, as Rob and I sipped freshly brewed coffee and tapped our toes to the hep sounds of screaming children, I commented, as many will do when sipping freshly brewed coffee, on the deliciousness of said coffee. Rob stated that yes, it was indeed good, so good, in fact, he actually visualized Columbian coffee fields as he inhaled the hot, exotic aroma, Then Rob recited a poem:

I smell the fields o’ sweet Columbia
Earthy, green, dirty-good
Hear the song of macaw, shrill monkey squeal
See brown, withered hands pluck, pluck, pluck
‘Neath the raging South American sun

I lowered my face and quietly wept into my mug.

Friday, April 22, 2005

And She Shall Make Her Presence Known

I apologize for my absence -- I was, of course, busy genuflecting before the Mother of Salt Stains, who made her presence known earlier this week in a Chicago underpass.
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(click to enlarge salty virgin)

It was the most beautiful experience of my life, better even than my pilgrimage to the Holy Toasted Cheese Sandwich last year.

As you can probably tell, I am lying. How whimsical of me!

Actually, as usual, my computer was up to her old slutty tricks this week, and I once again fell victim to her evil ways. This time, however, it was bad, couldn’t use her, nothing worked, even my DSL decided to flee the scene for a couple days. Odd.

So after trying to reformat and reformat and reformat for days, enlisting the help of my next door neighbor, Mark the Magic Fireman, screaming at Frontiernet's obnoxious little helper, Ian, drinking many beers, reformatting again, my whore finally closed her legs, got up off her hairy back, and is once again earning her keep.

Such is the life of an hp Pavilion mx50 dweller. Alas, alas…

Sunday, April 17, 2005

My Maria

Is there someone in your life that instantly makes you feel calm? Someone who, just by entering the room, can put you at ease, give you a sense of peace and make you laugh, too? If you don’t, I truly hope and wish that someone like that enters your realm of existence soon.

I have just such a someone in my life, and though she doesn’t read this blog (hell, no one from my town reads this blog except for two or three that I know of -- apparently, I'm less frightening to strangers than I am to my own friends and family), after seeing her tonight, I had to spew love all over dis room, man.

God. Maria, Maria, Maaariaaa! Known each other since we were six years old, and though we’ve had our periods of distance, some years long, we always know that one is there for the other, no matter what. She’s the one constant in my life, a life that never did have much constancy, not until I got married and had kids that is; she’s my history, my surefire source of good memories cultivated from a time when goodness was hard to come by. She’s slumber parties with potato chips and onion dip, she’s hysterical laughter and sneaking smokes, she’s art and music and scented candles, Whoppers and illegally purchased beer. Maria, when I look at her beautiful face, is fifteen years old, is twenty-two, is teenage-stomach butterflies and bonfires and cute boys, anticipation, cats crunching bird skulls and Berlioz. She makes me feel safe, remembered, cared about; she reminds me without saying a word that I matter in this universe, that I did have a childhood, and that once, a long time ago, there was a little girl named Lori Howe who was funny, silly, lovable, who enjoyed doing Bruce Lee impressions, drawing pictures of big-boobed mermaids, riding bikes on windy days. I am that little girl when I see Maria, and I like that little girl. More importantly, she helps to remind me that I like the old broad I am today, that I'm capable and strong when I want to be, and if I don't want to be, she helps me be. And everything’s going to be okay.

Tonight, after almost eight months of communicating only by e-mail (I’m not a telephone person -- told you I was weird), Maria came for a visit. I’d been in the blackest of moods since Thursday, which is when I received some terrible news about someone I love, and frankly, I’d been feeling like I might lose it at any moment. Was screaming at the kids, the cat, my husband, my beloved vacuum cleaner; was crying over crumbs left on the counters, over the moon, over nothing at all and everything there is. Hadn’t slept more than two hours, if that, a night. I was a complete and total case of assholeness. But in walked Maria, Maria, Maaariaaa! and everything’s going to be okay.

I knew deep down that it would, that it will, but tonight, with the two of us sitting on my back porch, nothing but the glow of inside lights illuminating her face, I looked at Maria and I not only wanted to be, I realized that I am.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Pudendum Head is Gone!

This won't be of any interest to those who don't watch American Idol, but YAY, that nasty-looking manchild thing who once embarrassed herself on national television by wearing a faux-hawk resembling that of a gigantic vulva, is GONE! Almost upchucked when my Bo, my sexy sexy, caveman loverboy, Bo Bice, was put in the bottom three alongside Snatchy Girl -- unbelievable, America. What are you, a bunch of boring, fat-assed idiots? Oh, wait. Yeah, you are. Never mind.

If Bo goes, then I'll be forced to love Constantine the Butt-Chinned Giant (I always imagine him lifting his big battleship of a foot and bringing it down on Ryan's head, for some reason), but if Constantine goes, well then, I must go too. The rest of the lot get on my freaking nerves.

As predicted by Nostradamus, a wicked green-eyed woman has spoken of lust, reality television and gigantic pudendum in the year of our lord, 2005 A.D. The great fires should arrive within the next seven weeks. Take heed, brothers and sisters. Take heed.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Proof That the Burger King May in Fact Be Jesus

Found this by accident yesterday (someone on Brian Keene’s board posted the link).

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(Click to enlarge your lord and master.)

So, see there? When I stated in my “The Woman Who Loved Cat Dancing” post that I swore I saw Jesus, a being remarkably similar in appearance to the King, I wasn’t lying.


In unrelated yet equally amusing (to me, at least) news, while watching Good Morning America today with my husband and my son, Mr. Butler, there was a report on breast implants, complete with the obligatory footage of doctors fondling large sacks of silicone. So my boy, who'd been busy playing with his Albert Einstein Theory of Relativity Colorforms set, became quite interested during the sack fondling, and said, "Oooh, Mommy! Are those special bags? I like those squishy things. Can I have them?"

And Lar says, "Son, I’m confident that in a few years you'll have all the squishy bags you could ever wish for."


Saturday, April 09, 2005

The Woman Who Loved Cat Dancing

I don’t know what could possibly be wrong with my cat, but I do know that if there were a doctor who specialized in shrinking feline brain, I would immediately write out a check, cost be damned, to fix my mentally unbalanced kitter kat. She’s absolutely nuts.

The check would bounce like a tennis ball, sure, but at least my cat would receive the help she so desperately needs.

Oh, I hear all of you kitty owners out there going, “But Ms. Lori, all cats are mentally unbalanced!” and to you I will say, yes, of course, but my kitty is beyond the cute and adorably silly stage of said instability, and is, unfortunately, now within the realm of full-blown psychosis. Were she a human being, there is a strong possibility she’d eventually find herself locked up in a maximum security facility for the criminally insane. She would, without doubt, murder me with her bare paws. For laughing. She would kill me and not shed a tear because she hates my laugh that much.

Let’s go through this again so as not to misinterpret that statement: My cat hates my laugh.

Rare are the times that I laugh out loud, belly laugh till tears trickle down my cheeks and run into my wide open, soundless mouth. I find many things amusing, but that precious, orgasmic sensation of completely losing control, laughing so hard my vocal chords cease to work as my body shudders uncontrollably and my lungs collapse in on themselves and tears flow and my face gets really ugly, resembling that of an asphyxiation victim, is the Holy Grail of sensations. When it finds me (for I am never able to find it -- it delights in surprising me during unexpected moments maybe twice a year), I go with it, run with it, allow it to carry me away, and I hang onto it until long after those around me have stopped laughing, until they are stone-faced and staring at me, until their foreheads develop obvious worry lines. I will hang onto that Holy Grail until the heretofore worried onlookers become disgusted by my soundless wheezing and ugly face, until they utter “Oh, my God,” and quickly leave the room as I pound my fists and snort and weep myself into total nirvana.

I’m thrilled to report that the Holy Grail gifted me last night, and there are no words to describe how delicious the experience was. It’d been well over eight months or so since my last episode, and I welcomed that Holy Grail like a long lost lover -- I embraced it and smothered it with kisses as it had its way with me, and oh lawd, it was good.

My cat, however, began her St. Vitus-like Dance of death soon as my tears started to roll. If only you could have seen the look in her eyes…it was a look of pure hate, pure insanity, a look steeped in murderous intent. Apparently, my laughter sets off a deep, primal urge to hunt, capture and kill, and this confuses and terrifies my cat. I’m sure she must be thinking, “But me love Mama! Me no kill Mama! Poor Mama…” Then, as my laughter progresses, develops into a shrill whistle that is imperceptible to the human ear, my face forming into a hideous mask, her formerly loving self is swallowed by Instinct, and as we all know, we are powerless while in the throes of Instinct.

“Mama bad. Mama bird. Mama die. Me kill Mama…Kill…Kill! No! Mama love! Love Mama! Poor Mama! Mama die! Yes, Mama die!”

And she begins her dance, a graceful skip and hop of a dance interspersed with air-clawing and tail wagging, her eyes slits, her ears flat to her skull as she fights against Instinct, then, as my laughter reaches its apex, the moment that onlookers turn away in disgust, she, like those onlookers, turns away and runs, her tail poofed four times its normal size.

Which only makes me laugh even harder.

Oftentimes, she will stay hidden in some secret location until she feels it is safe to look at me without wanting to shred my face into ribbons.

I think I died last night, if only for a second, because I saw angels through my tears, heard harps and the unmistakable sounds of Jimi Hendrix ripping chords with his teeth. I swear I saw Jesus, and he looked remarkably similar to the grinning Burger King mascot, disturbing, beautiful.

My cat still won’t come out of hiding, even after tempting her with Fancy Feast this morning.

I ask you, WTF?

Friday, April 08, 2005

Bad Things That Happened This Week

1) My computer was still messed up, so I had to reinstall Windows again and again, non-destructive mode, destructive mode, non-destructive mode, destructive mode, till I beat my whore into submission. She's finally come to realize who's boss in this relationship. I think. Anyway, a fine time was had by all.

2) My cat threw up all over my new furniture and Greek fluffy rug (I forget what they call those things, but this is a very cool rug, a genuine Greek fluffy rug made in a tiny village in Greece where they make Greek fluffy rugs. A gift from a good friend, too, who also happens to be a fluffy Greek thing.) My once cream-colored Greek fluffy rug is stained bright yellow now. My cat, I presume, ate a Men at Work sign.

3) My boy stuck his fingers into his poop diaper and proceeded to wipe them off on my brand new dish towel. When that didn’t solve the problem, he decided to use his t-shirt. I had to throw away both the t-shirt and dish towel, which made me very sad. Finances aren’t in the best shape this year, and purchasing a new dish towel is quite an event in our household. In fact, new dish towels are so special to me, I give them names. It‘s going to be lonely around here without my Stevie Ray...

4) I was rude to one of my daughter’s special ed teachers yesterday. I was sick, had a migraine, and she called just as my children began fighting over ants. My oldest daughter picked up a tiny ant, crushing it in the process, then wiped it on the arm of my youngest daughter. My youngest daughter began shrieking, which is completely understandable, but her shrieking set off my boy, and he began to shriek as well.

So I was rude to the poor woman when she rightfully gave me some attitude about my not attending an important meeting that day (due to illness) -- attitude coupled with shrieking kids, plus migraine, plus total embarrassment caused my third inner demon to surface (there are fourteen in all), and I believe that that third demon, a spicy little wench named Jo-Jo, may have told her to go fuck herself, but I can’t be sure -- I tend to black out during times like those.

I apologized for yesterday’s demonic possession during our phone conference today, and she brushed it off as if it were nothing. So maybe I didn’t tell her to go fuck herself. Or maybe she’s just really, really afraid of me now. I’ll know for sure when I see her at next week’s Special Education Committee meeting -- if she cowers when I raise my hand or fails to make eye contact, I’ll know then that I definitely told her to go fuck herself. If this is the case, then I’ll buy her a nice goodie basket from Wegman’s or something.

5) I was sick.

6) We have tiny ants.

I do believe this weekend will be a drunken one. Also, I plan on eating massive amounts of potato salad. I deserve it.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Gordon, You're Not a Yak Boy

A couple of days ago, I was rummaging through some of my old stuff, looking for buttons. My daughter was jealous of her younger sister because their older sister gave her a bunch of buttons (the kind with sharp implements on the back, not the kind that keeps blouses nice and modest), and my daughter really, really wanted buttons, too. Well, back in the day, I was a button-wearer myself, amassed quite a collection, including vintage “It’s Not Nice to Fool Mother Nature” type buttons, many punk buttons such as Dead Kennedys’“To Drunk To Fuck (sic), Sex Pistols, Bowie, and assorted S&M-type slogans (“Lick My Boots, You Little Worm), as well as a variety of buttons that an old boyfriend made for me. Stupid buttons that he made for me. Buttons with pictures of old ladies sniffing men’s armpits, roses flying through the air for no apparent reason, teddy bears, space scenery, and one that reads “L.L. Howe (my “pen name” at that time) Queen of the Universe" (I referred to myself as “Queen of the Universe” until I got married and had children -- now I’m just One Whipped Mother).

My daughter was delighted when I found my button collection, but I wouldn’t allow her to have the filthy punk and S&M buttons, of course.

So I found the buttons, and along with those buttons, I also found some tapes that I forgot I had. They were unmarked for the most part, and I couldn’t wait to hear what was on those mysterious cassettes. I knew, however, that the listening had to be done in private, because, well, these were tapes that belonged to the Queen of the Universe, not Ms. Lori, and ol’ Queenie was a bit of a wild woman, dig? I had no idea how mortifying a listening experience was in store for me.

Some of the tapes were bad quality recordings of music, many of the late eighties’ artists forgotten, my choices perplexing -- “…And she said, she said…” ; “Bet your life on a silver ball, spinning ‘round the wheel…”; “Don‘t close your eyes, don‘t close your eeeyyyyessss…“

My “confused rock-chick” period. Recently having grown out my hair from my punk period, and realizing that guys like girls with long hair and high, brick-like ledges over their foreheads instead of high, brick-like Mohawks (not to mention the fact that employers also preferred the ledge over the Mohawk), I gave it all I had during that transitional time. I even wore skin-tight jeans with zippers at the ankles, God love me.

Appalled yet intrigued, I couldn’t resist investigating further, breathlessly popped in the next cassette as gooey waves of nostalgia bubbled through my old soul. Did I have Winger saved for posterity, too? Slayer? Are there recording of me signing along with Fine Young Cannibals? I could almost smell the CK One, the AquaNet, feel my hair lift at the roots, forming a hideous, brick-like ledge over my forehead. Turns out that, no, there was no Slayer, no Fine Young Cannibals -- that would’ve been a relatively sweet find, a nice, albeit cheesy find. What I found instead was so humiliating, so excruciatingly unbearable to listen to, I just about cried. Okay, I did cry.

“Gordon?” [Spoken with obviously intoxicated slur]

“Gordon, do you know about the wild mountain yaks of Montana? They’re huge, Gordon, really huge. Six foot by five, is what I heard Can you imagine the size of their penises, Gordon? Can you? I can. I’m guessing that a wild mountain yak’s penis would measure, oh, maybe thirteen, fifteen inches in length.”

“That’s pretty big, Gordon.”

“You suck that, Gordon.”

“I hope you enjoy sucking that wild mountain yak penis, Gordon, because I’m gonna enjoy myself tonight, too.”

“Good bye, yak boy.”

[Muffled laughter, clearly male, high-pitched cackle, clearly me]

The above transcript is taken from Gordon’s incoming phone messages, and why I have this in my tape collection is a true mystery. This aural horror wasn’t recorded late in our relationship, either -- this was early on, before we got engaged. We’d broken up the day of the recording (my fault), and I guess I felt like tormenting poor Gordon.

I was always tormenting poor Gordon. Gordon didn’t deserve that. Gordon was a handsome, loving, sweet man. But Gordon also had the supreme luck of meeting me just as I was entering my “confused rock chick having many nervous breakdowns” period, and he, unfortunately, became my whipping boy. I would estimate that I experienced three or four breakdowns during our relationship, a culmination of the nightmare that was my life before him. He was a patient and dear young man, and I, to put it bluntly, was a crazy bitch with fresh wounds. He helped heal some of them, though I doubt he knew that at the time. He did help heal me, and I’ll forever be grateful to him. I’m sure if Lar, my husband, knew what Gordon went through in order to help me become the person I am today, he’d be grateful too. I met Lar shortly after my and Gordon’s final breakup.

The guilt I feel, however, is tremendous, even after sixteen years. I was too scarred and too young and too into myself to apologize for the hell I inflicted upon that man. The last time I spoke with Gordon was when he called me one night -- it was midnight -- and he’d sounded very sad, like he missed me. My heart swelled when I heard his voice because I still loved him. But I was engaged to Lar, the wedding date set, my dress picked out. I loved Lar more than I thought it possible to love any human being. I honestly believe it wouldn’t have been possible if it hadn’t been for Gordon. And Gordon, though taken aback by my engagement, seemed truly happy for me. That’s the kind of man he was.

So I’m going to say now what I should’ve said then:

Thank you, Gordon. I’m so sorry.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

William Shatner Made Me Cry!

If you are a fan of William Shatner, even if it’s only for his camp appeal (hell, even if you’re not a fan whatsoever), I would strongly advise that you check out Spike TV's Invasion Iowa, a reality mini-series that takes a little bit of Punk’d, a dash of Saturday Night Live and a smidgeon of Plan 9 From Outer Space to form one heck of an entertaining freak-a-thon. This engrossing twist on reality television, wherein the perpetrators convince the population of Riverside, Iowa that William Shatner (and supposedly Sir Sean Connery) will be making a science-fiction film there, thus enlisting the citizens' help, wallops the viewer with a plethora of emotions ranging from embarrassment for the characters to deep, sloppy, unrequited love. This is lowbrow yet somehow respectful comedy sure to make anyone smile, chuckle, laugh out loud, or, if you’re as easily amused as I am, spew beverage through your nose. And it will tug at your heartstrings in a way that is both disturbing and confusing -- I cried, which most definitely disturbed and confused me.

Shatner does “serious” spoof so convincingly, I almost forgot I was watching an entire town get pranked up the wazoo, that the wacky, squeezably adorable Tiny wasn’t really Shatner‘s nephew, that the luscious Gryffyn wasn’t actually writing a children’s book about lesbian penguins, and that, I think, is the beauty of Invasion Iowa -- you can’t help but get sucked in by the earnest portrayals, the genuine affection the actors so obviously feel toward the fine folks of Riverside.

Speaking of the townfolk, I adore them all; the cutie-pie old ladies who make no attempt at hiding their shock, the star-struck young wannabe actors (who were “hired” as professional extras for the bogus film), the lovable old dude and his petrified raccoon penis, the barkeeps, the waitresses, the pastor -- truly beautiful people, one and all. As with Shatner’s crew, I almost forgot the role these folks played: unwitting pawns in Billy’s surreal game of Extreme Mindfuck. The innocents are sometimes so over-the-top, so full of color and character, they appear to be creations born of a screenwriter’s imagination.

Why can’t I have neighbors like that?

Though there was only one citizen of “Billville” who felt betrayed, I kind of squirmed for them after the big reveal. These are people who are honestly good, helpful, charitable and trusting, people the American media continually insists upon ignoring, preferring instead to focus on the bottomfeeders of our society. These are decent human beings who work hard, who appreciate what they have, and who selflessly, graciously extended their hospitality to a group of scary Hollywood types without blinking an eye (well, maybe they blinked once or twice, but they took it with great humor and good spirit). The majority of them “got” Shatner’s vision, and thankfully, they were rewarded not only monetarily, but with meaningful connections and memories that will last a lifetime.

I dunno. Made me smile as I lay my head down for the night.

Check local listings for encore presentations.