Tuesday, January 31, 2006

An Open Letter to the Department of Homeland Security

Dear Sirs/Mesdames,

Allow me to first state that this is the most embarrassing letter I’ve ever written, but please bear with me -- if there is any significance to this whatsoever, it will be worth all the humiliation in the world

I have a question pertaining to terrorists and how they communicate via the Internet: Is it possible for terrorists to relay information to others of their ilk, information that would be invisible to the casual reader, through someone else’s web page?

I ask this (and please forgive my ignorance -- I know next to nothing about how web pages are built or how computers work beyond the basics) because, beginning in May, 2005, my blog has received many, many visitors from Iran, Iraq, United Arab Emirates, England, the U.S. and elsewhere via Google or Yahoo engines, as well as no referring link, all searching for the same word, “pudendum.” You see, I wrote a post on April 12, 2005 that included that word, a humorously lame post relating to Fox's highly-rated reality program, American Idol. At the end of my post, I wrote: “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."

If I weren’t so level-headed, I might believe that my post is part of an evil terrorist recruitment campaign, but as you can clearly see, I am quite level in the head.

Thing is, in May 2005, I began to notice hordes of hits from the Middle East and England, just dozens of hits, many of them repeat visitors who had apparently bookmarked that page but who do not visit other pages on my blog, then, by the end of June, beginning of July (not clear as to the exact date), they just…stopped -- until the last week of November, and continuing into this month. Again, my blog is being inundated with hits from the above mentioned countries, although now there are more hits from the U.S. than ever before. I began copying and pasting the IP addresses and other information about two days after the influx started, and have them saved in Word, but gave up after the ten millionth pudendum hunter. (Okay, maybe not ten millionth, but there's way too many to keep up with.)

Why would this be? “Pudendum” is not a commonly used word, for sure, especially in pornography where, excuse my language, “pussy,” “muff,” and “beaver” are the terms of choice, and I hardly think that my ridiculous post about American Idol would cause people to come in droves for the hilarity of it all. And why the bursts of activity? Why from mainly Middle Eastern countries? I feel something’s amiss here. Something bad. Considering the last influx of hits ended around the time of the London bombings (when many of the pudendum hits came from England), and now the current influx coming on the heels of whatshisname’s videotaped threats, I’m sure you can understand my concern.

I truly beg your pardon if I seem like a wacko with an overactive imagination, or if I have wasted your time, but I’ve been agonizing over this letter for a couple for weeks now, and finally decided that my embarrassment is a small price to pay if it helps in any way.

God bless the U.S.A.!!!!!!!!!


Lori Young

Sunday, January 29, 2006

"God, I Wish I Knew How to Quit You."

Image ganked from Editor At Large.

Because, hey, although this may have been circulating on the 'Net for eighty-six years, it's new to me. And I like the word "ganked." Tastes like chicken.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Ten Kinda Sorta Interesting Things About Me

I did a similar meme last year, but the delightful Ms. Robin Slick tagged me for this one, and if you know Ms. Slick, you know that one does not ignore requests from the venerable Mistress of Pain. (I‘ve no idea what the hell that means, but it sounds good.)

Anyway, check out her most excellent blog. She spawned two talented, on-the-verge-of-being-famous kids, and is close, personal friends with Neil Gaimon. Well, maybe not “close,” and perhaps not all that personal, but he did post in her blog comments once.

I’m rambling, aren’t I? Sorry ‘bout that. Freaking strep, a.k.a. Max the Amphibious Monster, is rearing its ugly head once again, and I feel just awful. I’ve come to the conclusion that Amoxicillin is not in fact a true antibiotic, but merely a placebo made of gelatin that is prescribed under direct top secret order by the Bush administration to those of us suspected of leaning to the left. Very funny, you bastards. Time for me to find a dissident doctor.

On with the show, then…

1) I’m terrified of clowns, Pat Robertson, and wasps. They all disgust me.

2) I don’t drive.

3) As a young child, I would hear voices. Seriously creepy, deep baritones that sometimes sang the Happy Birthday song. Along with the voices, I experienced visual hallucinations that included ghostie-like beings and warped, Daliesque, wall-melting visions. The Satanic chorus disbanded around the time I turned eleven, as did the melting walls. Thank god for small favors.

4) I’ve always found dictionaries and thesauruses comforting yet exciting, and have used them for entertainment purposes since childhood. I love words, the sound, the look, the taste. Yes, I said taste. Many words, though not all, produce a distinct taste and feel in my head. The word “though,” for instance, evokes hot, roasted potatoes.

5) I read people like a book. Cliché, but true.

6) The science of psychiatry fascinates me, always has. By my mid teens, I’d already delved into Freud, Jung, and Arthur Janov‘s “The Primal Scream,“ and surmised that Freud was a dirty, misogynistic freak, Jung‘s “collective unconscious “ makes a hell of a lot of sense, and Janov’s screaming banshee method is just plain old weird.

In my next life I shall be a well-known psychiatrist who is worshipped like a rock star.

7) I feel a totally inappropriate, completely ridiculous, bordering on delusional connection to Elton John, Neil Young, David Bowie, Stephen King, and Bill Clinton.

8) I could eat an entire box of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes in one sitting, with or without milk. I rarely buy them because of my gluttonous infatuation.

9) I quit college in my second semester because one of the profs accused me of plagiarism. I suppose she believed that anyone sporting funny hair and black leather couldn’t possibly write a superb paper. I proved her wrong, then turned on my Doc Marten heel and left the building, never to return. A similar unfortunate incident occurred in sixth grade, and because I obviously had no choice but to stay, I instead wrote a vengeful story starring my teacher and her murderous serpent-hair.

10) My mother and I were accosted one night by a crazed old lady wielding a (maybe) fake gun. Long story short, I was eight, it was nighttime, and we were waiting for my father to pick us up from my ballet recital practice, which had taken place downtown in the Xerox Building. Crazed old lady, long white hair whipping about her shriveled kitchen witch face, ran up to us and held us hostage, right there outside the Xerox Building -- security guards were maddeningly unaware of the situation as they were walking their beats inside the building, visible to my mother and myself through the thick glass block wall. They couldn’t hear our pounding. The old lady claimed to have a gun, and repeatedly threatened us with the conspicuous bulge pointing at us through her cloth handbag, all the while babbling incoherently and raging at unseen people. Occasionally, in moments of seeming “clarity,” she wept while explaining that her husband had run off with some whore, and she felt as though she was losing her mind. (Ya think?)

My father eventually drove up to the curb, which was a good fifty feet away, and my mother grabbed my arm, whispered, “Now! Run, Lori! Run!” but I was glued in place. Wouldn’t budge, couldn’t budge. It was the weirdest feeling I have ever experienced to date. So Mom was forced to yank me by the arm as hard a she could, and with me flying at her side, we sailed through the concourse, over the ten million stairs, over the sidewalk, and into our car. The old lady had given chase the whole way, and once my mother and I were safely locked in, my poor, confused father, obeying my mother’s hysterical screams to “hit the gas, Bob!” pushed pedal to the metal, and away we went, old lady draped across the hood. The sudden jolt caused her to fall off, but she wasn’t hurt, as we saw in the rearview mirrors that she’d risen like the ghoul she was, and scurried away. I had nightmares for weeks after that.

All bow before me now.

ADDENDUM: Eeep! Forgot to tag! Okay, I’d love to see the fine and funny hot Southern mama from Give Me the Booger answer this.

Also, my good friend Ms. Olivia….

And I’d love Theresa Boyar to answer this, but she hasn’t updated her blog in some time, so she must be busy. Plus, she might beat me up for bugging her.

Alan from Wind Reader might do it, but he’s kind of uppity now… Can’t hurt to ask, though. (Just kidding, Alan. Not.)

I'm too shy to E-mail an advance warning or leave requests on blogs, so if the above darlings should happen across this, please indulge the old whore, 'kay?

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Etymology of Landlubber

All lubbery and shit.
Also theorized to originate from the Latin term terra smartae, meaning intelligent being who refuses to be tortured in the pursuit of leisure.

Why is it that some people think it’s a marvelous idea to travel on a floating death machine for two weeks, whereupon they and their families may possibly be subjected to staphylococcal-filled buffets, crime, mysterious disappearances, and a two-minute visit at each port?

I don’t know about you, but that’s not my idea of fun, even if there’s only a small chance any of the above atrocities might happen. I take no unnecessary chances when it comes to leisure time, and it boggles my mind that many folks do. Why, for example, would anyone believe barfing for fourteen days straight is on par with a giga-good time? Why is cohabitating in close proximity with profusely sweating gobs of humanity, while at the same time being at the mercy of the high seas, so appealing to some?

And don’t they realize that those seas are teeming with hideous

Jesus-loving,hat-wearing creatures that might just decide to emerge from the depths, sweep them off board with a twenty foot tentacled arm, then crack their skulls with a beak so powerful, it could snap a four foot thick steel pole like a breadstick?

Oh, god, and the humanity, the worst monster of all. Sick, germy, unwashed-hand shaking, garbage and waste-producing, criminal-minded, drunken humans who will cough in your face, run their filthy fingers along the same banisters you run yours, sneeze into the salad bar, pickpocket your pants, leer lasciviously at your pretty wife as she sunbathes, enter your cabin at will and rifle through your belongings, and generally just bug the piss out of you with their disgusting eating sounds when you’re forced to sit next to them at dinner.

Then, when the ship finally docks and you’re allowed to disembark onto strange, dreamy lands, you get exactly forty-two and a half minutes to explore the sunny paradise or face the consequences of being left behind. And by “explore,“ I mean “get mobbed” by natives who think you’re a fat, rich pig with serious fashion issues. They laugh at your back when you, dehydrated and dazed, hurriedly waddle back to the horn-blowing behemoth, your meaty fists clutching cheap beads and straw hats.

Okay, maybe not all of them laugh at you, but I certainly would.

I’ll bet my barf bag that you’re wondering what in the name of heaven caused this anti-cruise ship rant. Mutiny, that's what. Passengers aboard the supposedly luxurious Queen Mary 2 are, at present, considering taking over the ship because they were screwed out of three forty-two and a half minute port of calls, and must ride the raging waters for days and days before setting foot on glorious land. And I don't blame them one bit. Mind you, there's no security on board a cruise ship; there's no dude wielding a gun and handcuffs who will save the captain's ass. Ironic, isn't it? For years, travelers have been victimized, murdered and raped aboard these vessels of doom, mainly due to the quiet anarchy that has been allowed to flourish unchecked, the injustices merely sniffed at and ignored by the cruise lines -- and now the tables have turned.

Which begs the question: What’s the point of all this? Why take vacations where one can’t be guaranteed personal safety let alone truly enjoy the exotic destinations? Hell, I’ll just sit in my sunny, tree-laden backyard with a cold beer in one hand and a nice, clean, freshly made sandwich in the other while watching the Travel channel on my deck T.V. -- alone. On dry land where the only monster in proximity is all the way across the street, and he’s mowing his lawn, as thrilled to be left in peace as I am. Where the only pirates I encounter are four feet tall, and whose only weapon is their ear-piercing shrieks when they attempt to rob me of my Cheetos. Where the captain of my ship leers lasciviously at me as I sunbathe, barbeques chicken really well, and is willing to protect me from wasps.


Monday, January 23, 2006

Self-Made Idiot

Norah Vincent, sensationalist ding-dong du jour and anti-choice lesbian “log cabin Libertarian" (my coin, thank you very much) journalist, dressed as a man for eighteen months, and yo, she’s all up on the down low, y’all. ‘Cause, uh, she pasted some prickly bits to her face and walked really, really butch, dude. Oh, and she/he joined a “blue-collar” bowling league, went to strip clubs, and dated over thirty women whom she duped via the Internet, then wrote a book about it..

I don’t plan on reading “Self-Made Man,” for two reasons:

1) I hate hypocrites

2) I really hate hypocrites

On dating these straight women, she remarks that she became, "a momentary misogynist," because they, and I’m paraphrasing here, “talk too much.” Men have it hard, she states, because they aren’t allowed to express emotions. Men have it tough, you understand, because they get rejected sometimes, and golly, that hurts!

To paraphrase yet again (because I like to twist things to my advantage), Vincent believes straight womenfolk are nothing but a bunch of whiny, calculating incessant talkers who complain way too much about those poor, misunderstood men who knocked them up, slapped ’em around, slept with their best friend, then headed for the hills. And how dare those jabber jawed, cat-clawed, bully bitches demand reproductive rights? How dare they show emotions, put up a bit of defense around a strange man, and act so goshdurned standoffish when meeting other women? Why, those silly, competitive cows ought to take a lesson from the guys and shake hands like they mean it, give Betty a warm, hearty pump and a big ol’ slap on the back, dagnabbit! Sheesh, would it crimp a lady’s style too much to let loose a little? Go watch naked people swing on poles? Bowl a couple of games with the broads without complaining about their broken nails? Also, they really ought to stop turning down Dudley when he shambles on over and asks them to dance, okay? That’s so damn cold. Have a heart for once -- a pity fuck here and there wouldn’t kill them, would it?

So, as you can see, Norah/Ned is the Desmond Morris of anthropology, the Sigmund Freud of psychology, the Tookie to Dustin Hoffman‘s Tootsie, and in my opinion, the epitome of hypocrisy.

She, like so many of her counterparts, e.g., gay folks who inexplicably rally round the right, exhibits her hypocrisy by lying with dogs and blaming the flea bites on the left wing media that gave her a voice in the first place. Don’t believe me? Read some of her op-ed pieces and interviews, many of which are available on the 'Net. I spent the better part of this morning doing just that, and my stomach hurts from ingesting such tripe, so much so, I'm too ill to linky link. If you’re so inclined, and don’t mind a tummy ache, go ahead and search her name.

Vincent’s associations remind me a little of that syndrome where the hostage begins to identify with the hostage-taker -- what’s that called? Stockholm Syndrome, that’s it. Methinks the lady has gone down on her knees in the name of self-preservation.

But seriously, is Vincent’s anti-women’s rights and anti-transgender thinking due to her years of being subjected to society’s male-dominated ideology, wherein she, the “oppressed” has, for purpose of survival, identified with the oppressor, or is she merely a big confused rat who finds it difficult to navigate through her maze of sexual-identity issues, thus making herself feel as if she’s gotten somewhere -- scored the cheese -- by siding with this country’s weirdly misogynistic and homophobic status quo? Maybe it’s just because she’s been spending too much time at the bowling alley knocking back brewskies and making fun of rape victims with Camille Paglia? Cripes, whatever the reason for her apparent man-worship, the woman doth flatulate too much.

People are people, gay, straight, men, women, transgender, eunuchs -- all of us have it rough in some ways. We all hurt, we all have issues that are unresolved, and we all come into this world without asking for an invite. We all do the best we can with what we are given. A penis, sorry to say, affords a person more advantages -- well, only if that penis goes where it’s supposed to, if you get my drift -- and you’d have to be either an asshole or blind, deaf, dumb and lobotomized to not realize that stark, sad fact. I’d give Vincent the benefit of the doubt and say that perhaps she is blind, deaf and dumb, and has been lobotomized, but I saw her on Good Morning America this morning, and she appears healthy and whole, so I must then conclude that she’s merely an asshole.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Heartwarming Quote of the Day

While talking on the phone with my brother, Dan, this morning, I was in the middle of asking him a question regarding law firms, and out of the blue, he interrupted with a small laugh and a “You are so awesome; I love you, Lori.”

I don’t think he’s uttered anything remotely similar since he passed the age of four, and it kind of floored me. In fact, I was so taken aback, I asked him if I’d said something (typically) stupid, thus prompting his sudden show of seemingly amused affection. Everyone loves a dingbat, don’t you know. But he only laughed again and said, “No, no way. You’re just awesome, is all. Go ahead with your question.”

I can’t tell you how long it’s been since anyone other than my kids have expressed such sentiments...

Just had to post that, because, um, it made me feel good.

Monday, January 16, 2006

My Rose-Colored Glasses Cracked

And I am so very tired.

Will post soonishly. When I'm not so tired. Or when my glasses are repaired.

UPDATE: Yeah, I got the strep. Finally went to the doc today, 1/18 (other than the OBGYN, this was my first visit to an M.D. in seven years). Apparently, because of my ridiculous lollygagging (heh), the strep developed into an amphibian-like creature named Max. Occasionally, parts of Max emerge from my mouth, sometimes an arm, sometimes a webbed foot (impetus for my going to the doc), because there's simply not enough room for his fat ass in my dainty little throat. I hate Max because not only does he make it difficult for me to breathe comfortably, he demands soup ALL THE TIME.

Hopefully, the meds will kill Max within a week, and I’ll be able to eat the side of beef I’ve been craving.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Partying With The Nanas

I’m having an old lady party this coming Saturday, and unless you’re a female over the age of ninety, you’re not invited (if you are indeed totally ancient, and a lady, please e-mail for place and time). I shall make a ham smothered in blackberry jam, homemade baked macaroni and cheese, creamy baked hash brown potatoes, corn, and a dark chocolate cake with strawberries for dessert. Beverages will include Diet Coke, Sprite, coffee, tea, and Coors Light. Guess which one I’ll be partaking of.

Both of my grandmas, along with assorted others, will be coming to visit, and I’m as excited as an old gray mare that has finally, mercifully, been put out to pasture. Goddamn stallions, anyway.


So my grandmas, Ruth and Florence, have not seen one another since, oh, lordy, forever! My parents divorced when I was fourteen, you see, quite a nasty divorce at that, but my grandmas, God bless ‘em, never let that get in the way of their friendship. They kept in contact through me, their loyal and saint-like granddaughter, and through occasional Christmas cards and phone calls. Since my grandmas live so very far away from each other, personal visits have been woefully few and far between. The last time was in 1997, when I threw an old lady party to top all old lady parties, and everyone got completely hammered on Jack Daniels, and the cops got involved, and, well, it was just great.

Anyway, I’ll be a bizzy, dizzy broad this week, getting ready for my old lady party and everything, so I may not post until after my shindig has passed. Eh. Bad choice of words there.

I’ll send my grandmas your warm regards.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Henry and Sidney

I was heading to work one winter morning in 1988, my first real job -- a job where I wore heels and skirts instead of denim and paper hats, a job where I was not, unfortunately, displaying my best efforts due to recent traumatic events -- when I noticed an apparently confused elderly gentleman pacing back and forth along the sidewalk opposite my apartment building. Though I was already late, and had a half mile walk ahead of me, I felt compelled to ask the man if he needed assistance with anything. He replied that he had lost his way, didn’t know how to get back home. He didn’t know the address.

I wanted to avoid involving the authorities just yet, and rationalized that the poor soul probably lived in the vicinity, so we walked together, arm in arm, along the icy city streets, and searched for his home. We passed building after building, apartment complexes, double family homes, a nursing home, but none were familiar to him. When my watch revealed that I was twenty minutes late for work, I began to lose hope, as well as patience. I was at the point of stopping at a pay phone and calling the police, when the man asked me my name. I told him, and soon as I did, I saw his eyes light up. “I used to know a boy with that last name,” he said. “Back in Dansville. We used to fish together, play all kinds of pranks -- heck, we were a couple of pills, Sidney and I.”

Sidney? That was my late grandfather’s name. Grandpa Howe passed away when I was only eight, but he remained a strong influence in my often difficult life. He’d been one person of very few with whom I felt safe, cherished. When things got rough, when I felt alone, as if no one cared, I’d think of Grandpa, and the memory of his huge, reassuring arms wrapped around me in a bear hug would instantly make me feel better. How odd, I thought, that at this particular time, a bleak time in which I was dangerously depressed, lacking in self-confidence, terrified of life in general, that I would meet this man.

Thrilled that I was Sidney’s granddaughter, the man regaled me with sweet boyhood tales of frogs thrust down girls’ blouses, homemade slingshots, and raking leaves for penny candies; he painted a Finn-like image of a happy, innocent day where little boys were free to roam the hills and valleys till dark, a day when he and my grandfather were invincible, immortal, forever ten.

We eventually found his home, an ivy-covered seniors' residence nearly three blocks from where I’d met him. I was about to escort him into the lobby, as I thought I should probably speak to whomever was in charge, but the man put his hand on my arm and said, “Please don’t.” I realized then that although a terrible disease was destroying his mind, it would not destroy his dignity. Perhaps it was wrong of me, but I nodded, gave him a hug as well as my phone number, and watched him slowly walk toward the entrance. Before he opened the door, he turned and said, “I’ll tell Sidney you said ‘hello’,” and then he winked.

Something changed in me that morning, something deep within my spirit, as if a light, cliché as this may sound, suddenly flicked on, illuminated the terrifying shadows of my past, the looming, dark doorways to my future. I knew that if I just kept my eyes open, I'd successfully navigate through all that despair and uncertainty, and would one day find my way.

I attempted to pay him a visit some two weeks afterward, but the woman at the front desk told me that no one by that name resided there. So many years have gone by, and I’ve forgotten his last name, wouldn’t be able to show you to the place where we said our goodbyes, but I still feel a pinch of guilt over my youthful ignorance -- there is a strong possibility that that was not where he lived -- but I take comfort in knowing that he’s now finally, truly home, that he’s found peace.

Thank you, Henry, for inadvertently (?) leading me toward my own

Saturday, January 07, 2006

A Few Stupid Things, ‘Cause I’m Stupid

1) Last night, after Lar attempted to cuddle with the boy, the boy pushed his big daddy away, wrinkled his nose and said, “Ew! You smell like breath shit!”
(Lar didn’t. smell like breath shit, by the way -- well, at least at that moment he didn‘t.)

I, of course, laughed way too much, then Lar punched my goiter and called me an “old, embittered hag.” We're a fun family.

2) I’m an old, embittered hag who wishes to punch a certain editor in his goiter for not complying with certain terms of a certain contract. Most certainly!

3) I may have a nasty case of strep throat, but I hate visiting the doctor, so I’ll just endure the godawful pain until the streptococcal virus invades my heart valves and I die of massive heart failure.

4) My extended family makes me want to dig out my old crack pipe and smoke crystallized Bisquick till my eyeballs roll back into my head.

5) Though this is probably the worst thing I’ve ever confessed, I can’t help but admit that I am terribly annoyed by my ninety-something grandmother. I mean, really annoyed. Like, “fucking stop being so weird and old or I’ll be forced to slap you back to 1947” kind of annoyed. God forgive me.

6) Do you think God will forgive me if I include my brothers in that trip to 1947? I realize that they weren’t even close to being alive during that time, and it might be a nightmarish experience for them to witness our father’s birth, watch Dad learn to walk, talk, and refer to that toddler as “Dad“ and stuff, but perhaps they all could find good work as lumberjacks or silversmiths or something.

&) I’ve had a couple of beers...Can you tell?

*) I miss Peter, whose wonderful blog “My Park Bench” has been down for weeks -- without previous warning, I might add. And no answer to my e-mail either. Bastard. I worry...

10) I’m over my writer’s funk and have begun the first story -- a real story as opposed to short jots and bubbly fart-like attempts at a story -- since last June. Still devastated that I lost all my work when my computer crashed this past summer, and the backup disks were corrupted, but I’ve finally come to terms, I think. The juices are flowing, I have a computer that works properly, and my searing disappointment over certain clueless publishers and dicked-up published efforts is settling into a warmish lump of steamy acceptance. Oh, it’s so hard to be a violently sensitive artist...

11) I edited this post to fix a typo in my tenth stupid thing -- "begum," which, for Christ's sake, is supposed to be "begun" -- but as I was doing so, wondered why Word didn't pick up the mistake, and in checking out the document, I discovered that "begum" is a real word!

Begum: important woman: a woman of high rank in some Muslim communities
Encarta ® World English Dictionary © & (P) 1998-2004 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

For Christ's sake.

Monday, January 02, 2006

An Open Fan Letter to Gary Busey

Dear Mr. Busey,

Your brilliant and achingly poignant portrayal of a homicidal gingerbread cookie in 2005‘s The Gingerdead Man is a work of pure genius, an unforgettable, spectacular moment in cinematic history, and were I a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, I would not hesitate to suggest to the board that they nominate you for Best Supporting Actor in a dramatic film.

I shall never bite the head off of a gingerbread man without thinking of you, or perhaps even vomiting for hours on end until I am lying prone on the bathroom floor suffering from dry heaves.

I wish you continued success in the coming year.

Admiringly yours,

Ms. Lori