Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Norman Mailer Triumphs, Posthumously

It's really something to be a genuine Man of Letters, as Norman Mailer is/was. He, Philip Roth, and John Updike have dominated the American literary scene for years, or at least have attracted the most fawning critical attention by the literary establishment.(Just using the word establishment makes me feel so 60s. Does anyone have a roach I can smoke?)

Anyway, once the Great Man passed, I hoped that our national admiration could turn in a new direction.

It isn't to be. Mailer has won yet another award, the Bad Sex in Fiction award.

It isn't fair! He's dead, and he's still getting all the critical attention! I'm going to hold my breath and turn blue till he's a distant memory.

The judges were obviously biased--continuing to ooh and ahh over the body of work, as well as the work of the body.

Go to the site of this competition, and I think you'll agree that there were other worthy competitors. The judges say that it was the excrement that put Norm over the top, but I thought that the nautical metaphor woven around Anne Hathaway and her secret lover should outshine poopoodoodoo.

Judge for yourself.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Lord Love a Duck

I am a fool for ducks. I don't know why. Must be their little web feet. The waddle. The sweet bills. There are about a hundred of them on my neighbor Peterson's pond, and if this year follows last year's precedent, they'll stay here over the winter, subzero temps and all.

I love the word duck. It's inherently funny. I am pleased that the University of Oregon has the duck as its mascot. Someday when I move to Oregon, I'll buy lots of Go Ducks apparel for the sheer joy of wearing Duck upon my lily-white breast.

I wonder what they talk about. I wonder why one (or more) of them are usually raising their voices into that QUAA-quaa-quaa that sounds so pissed off, as if there were disciplining to be done.

Perhaps there is.

Since Peterson cleaned up his pond and consecrated it to wildlife (as much to exclude humans, some of our snarkier neighbors have said), the population has grown exponentially. I have learned that ducks have daycare for their young. You won't see little threesomes gliding around the pond as if it were an eternal Easter parade; there is usually one adult with about six ducklings, guiding them around the pond and into the reeds. There you have it, folks--daycare can be a part of the natural order of things.

But that was in the summer. We are all quite grown up now, the mallard markings having
overtaken and pushed out duckling fluff. Since the pond iced over I have been concerned about doing my part to make sure that the ducks stay nourished. So I went over to the supply place, bought a big bag of cracked corn, and set out yesterday to have a duckie picnic.

I could tell that they thought this was a dandy idea. Throughout the summer and fall, Maddie-dog and I had been down to feed both ducks and catfish with our trusty cracked corn. My spouse has said that when Maddie appears at the pond, the ducks expect to be fed and start to gather for lunch. Alas, the little alpha-bitch hasn't been bringing them anything for the last couple of weeks.

So down we went yesterday, to pitch corn on the ice and watch the critters come in. They had been waddling around on the ice when we arrived and ignored us for a while, since that no-good dawg had been so stingy and thoughtless in recent times. But then I whipped out my strongest outfield arm and began hurling the corn. It scattered across the ice, handful after handful.

They got the idea. In they came.
Soon they were all there, nibbling away. I was concerned that I hadn't brought sufficient refreshments to the party and went home for more. More pitching. More nibbling.

Then they were off again. They rose in a body and took to the sky.

Farewell, sweet duckies. We'll meet again soon.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


Translating Newsweek's Newest Columnist

Now that Karl Rove has landed a column at Newsweek, I can see a role for the translation community. I suppose that the inclusion of Rove as a pundit for the magazine owned by the Washington Post (or is it the other way around?) can be read one of (at least) two ways:

Newsweek is bending over backwards to create a semblance of balance by including him;

Newsweek and the
Post itself are simply part of the American corporate presence that is more interested in bringing in the bucks than telling the truth.

As usual, I digress. We're talking about the need for translation here. I read Karl's first column the other day, and unless I'm mistaken, his points were lost in a lot of language that he didn't really mean, if past practices count for anything. There's work available here for someone who speaks fluent Weasel to help Karl's real points to emerge and see the light of day. For one thing, he sounds so respectable as he tells the as-yet-unselected Republican candidate how to beat Hillary:

Plan now to introduce yourself again right after winning the nomination. Don't assume everyone knows you. Many will still not know what you've done in real life. Create a narrative that explains your life and commitments. Every presidential election is about change and the future, not the past.

His point can best be translated as: Feel free to consult with me for a past-life makeover. I can recast your modest accomplishments into dizzying successes, if you turn me on enough.I can make you pious, macho, and cool. More important than that, ask me how to redefine Hillary for you.I'm sure we can come up with some great stories about the three abortions of mixed-race fetuses she is rumored to have had, and the three more she performed in a grubby little clinic in New Haven.And be sure to purchase Hillary nutcrackers by the gross. They'll go over great with the NASCAR dads.

Say in authentic terms what you believe. The GOP nominee must highlight his core convictions to help people understand who he is and to set up a natural contrast with Clinton, both on style and substance. Don't be afraid to say something controversial. The American people want their president to be authentic.

Although Rove sounds positively presidential here, what he really means is revive that rumor about Hillary being a lesbian. Don't forget that you are violently opposed to gay marriage, and that it will be Hillary's first order of business, aside from installing her lesbian lover into a wing of the White House.

Tackle issues families care about and Republicans too often shy away gay marriage! It's going to be mandated!

Go after people who aren't traditional Republicans. Aggressively campaign for the votes of America's minorities. Go to their communities, listen and learn, demonstrate your engagement and emphasize how your message can provide hope and access to the American Dream for all. Remember that you can usually shut these people up with a decent Blue Light Special at K-Mart or a couple of free happy meals for the kids before you ship Mom and Dad off to Iraq.We need good soldiers, and it'll be your job as Commander in Chief to fire up these folks. We're going to need their bodies and their tax dollars, since the rest of us don't serve and have stopped paying.

Be strong on Iraq. Democrats have bet on failure. That's looking to be an increasingly bad wager, given the remarkable progress seen recently in Iraq. This is bullshit we need to perpetuate. After all, the brain injuries on the vets are only starting to surface. If we can keep them out of the news for another year, we can sap some more recruits into serving.

And don't forget our best holdover slogan: We need to defeat the Iraqis and all their fellow terrorists over there so that we don't have to fight them over here.

...And did I mention gay marriage?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Civilization, Anyone?

It's the day before Thanksgiving, and I'm writing my mental thank you notes and contemplating our heritage.

What dear, misguided people we must be in order to believe that we need to straighten out the rest of the world and fall into spasms of xenophobia about the sort of people who cross our borders.

My friend Susan reminded me of this Cavafy poem:

Waiting for the Barbarians

What are we waiting for, assembled in the forum?

The barbarians are to arrive today.

Why such inaction in the Senate?
Why do the Senators sit and pass no laws?

Because the barbarians are to arrive today.
What laws can the Senators pass any more?
When the barbarians come they will make the laws.

Why did our emperor wake up so early,
and sits at the greatest gate of the city,
on the throne, solemn, wearing the crown?

Because the barbarians are to arrive today.
And the emperor waits to receive
their chief. Indeed he has prepared
to give him a scroll. Therein he inscribed
many titles and names of honor.

Why have our two consuls and the praetors come out
today in their red, embroidered togas;
why do they wear amethyst-studded bracelets,
and rings with brilliant, glittering emeralds;
why are they carrying costly canes today,
wonderfully carved with silver and gold?

Because the barbarians are to arrive today,
and such things dazzle the barbarians.

Why don't the worthy orators come as always
to make their speeches, to have their say?

Because the barbarians are to arrive today;
and they get bored with eloquence and orations.

Why all of a sudden this unrest
and confusion. (How solemn the faces have become).
Why are the streets and squares clearing quickly,
and all return to their homes, so deep in thought?

Because night is here but the barbarians have not come.
And some people arrived from the borders,
and said that there are no longer any barbarians.

And now what shall become of us without any barbarians?
Those people were some kind of solution.

Constantine P. Cavafy (1904)

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Be All You Can Be... My Ass

As I drove home this evening, I heard on NPR the continuation of a story that began on Veteran's Day: that of lack of access to mental health care for soldiers suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Are you ready for this? Soldiers with PTSD are being drummed out of the corps for "personality disorders" and being denied military benefits. Thousands of them!

Those who haven't been kicked out are harassed by their commanders, since they're often late for formation, for drinking and drugs, less than their former soldierly selves. And now commanders are kicking them out as if they'd never had the stuff to be accepted by the Army in the first place.

Figures haven't been released by the Marine Corps yet, but the Army figures show that 40 per cent more soldiers have been kicked out for "behavior" and "personality" problems that commanders do not connect to the war, even though many of the behaviors described are symptoms of PTSD.

So great. It's not that vet care has been so immediately forthcoming, even on the medical frontier, but now the brass has decided to use these kids and then dump them on whatever trash heap they can find. Meanwhile in the civilian world, ex-soldiers will find no comfort: in the name of fiscal responsibility, these bastards are cutting back on public health programs elsewhere.

Will we ever recover from this administration? And where, oh where, is the accountability for this ever-growing list of dastardly deeds?


A Special Present for Condi

According to Princess Sparkle Pony, it's Condoleeeeeezzzzza's 53rd birthday.

I was so upset when I first read about it--was sure that I'd forgotten and had nothing to give the Great Lady.

Silly me. I have to add parenthetically that I have a habit of shopping early and then forgetting the whereabouts of my largesse for my loved ones, thereby missing The Date.

So it is with Condoleeeeezzzzza. Knowing that the nights get long and her Husband can't always be near, I found this Presidential Substitute for her at a bargain bin.

Sweet dreams, Dr. Ferragamo!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Bush, National Turkey Glimpsed at Winnemucca 6

President Bush and Ptolemy, the nation's 2007 poster turkey were seen entering the Winnemucca Motel 6 this afternoon after a press conference in which the synbol of gratitude and thanksgiving was said to be "all over" the nation's chief executive.

"There was incredible chemistry, no doubt about it," remarked an observer to the event. "I think Ptolemy was a little confused--he'd heard that he had a date with a lame duck. Once he discovered that he would be photographed with the most powerful man in the world, he decided to go for it in hopes of receiving a presidential pardon. His hopes really rose when he heard about Scooter Libby."

The President, for his part, seemed to relish the opportunity for a few pecks at his pecker. "The president's testosterone shots leave him incredibly horny," said a White House insider. "He's been known to mount the laundry cart."


This Just In (Twice)!!

At the library our inboxes continue to be crammed with spam. The metaphor du jour:

Your penis will make more shadow than a tree.

Your penis will make more shadow than a tree.

Yow!! Will it branch out, too??

Friday, November 09, 2007


Advice du Jour

From my inbox:

What's happening Lulu
forget the 1 liners that dont work, just show em your c pu oc tqd k

Leroy Stephenson

Thursday, November 08, 2007


Giuliani Risks (and Triggers) Gag Reflex, Gathers Momentum

With Pat Robertson's endorsement in the bag, Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani pressed on with his campaign in search of additional support by attempting to wrap his notably big mouth around a record number of drinking straws.

"I'm not sure whose support this will land, but it's worth a try," said Giuliani. "Is there a Guinness segment? I think I can claim the NASCAR guys, but what makes a winner is finding other kinds of victories that white guys pursue. Given my shaky relationship with the Almighty, I have to hustle as many constituencies as I can."

Although Austrian Marco Hort took 259 drinking straws, Giuliani called for a return to American greatness by pushing for 265. He wasn't successful, stopping short of choking on 223, but said that it was the effort that was a harbinger of American dominance to come.

"When I am elected president the world will see us as winners on every front: in war, in penis and fingernail length, in the number of minutes sitting with pokers up our asses, the most consecutive skateboard frontside ollies... America will dominate in every possible category."

Not everyone was impressed with Giuliani's latest feat. "He looks like a fuckin' star mole," sniffed Nancy Jo Audobonbon. "What's uglier than a star mole, except for maybe a lamprey?"

Giuliani's stunt was criticized by Citizens for Recycling, a group
that calls not only for Americans to recycle, but to avoid careless consumption of items that are obviously unrecyclable.

"Clearly, no one will be able to re-use those straws with Rudy's cooties upon them," said spokeswoman Beryl Boxboard.

Ebay shoppers are not so sure.

"There's real investment potential there," said one savvy bidnessman, hovering near the trash can.


BIG Bidness Opportunity!

Goodness. Lulu seems obsessed with the wonderful world of commerce this week, doesn't she? I can only stand back a little and try to disassociate myself from this streak of marketplace enthusiasm that comes from heaven knows where.

Still, this is a big bidness opportunity, and I want to share it with my readers--all three of you!
And I mean it is BIG! Bigger than the face of Jesus on a slice of toast! Bigger than the smallest Thanksgiving meal (not necessarily edible) ever served. And it's on Ebay right now!

(That's my revenge on my tardy readers... check this post tomorrow, and the link will be sad history, your chance at riches forever snuffed.)

The Elvis is Alive Museum, located in Wright City, MO, is on the auction block, with just 8+ hours to go. At the moment the top big is $8300, which isn't much, considering the stock:

1. Legal ownership and rights to the DNA test which compared Elvis' body tissue from two biopsies, to the body reported to be that of Elvis. This DNA test cost $2,200.00. The two DNAs did not match.

2. Two Elvis Is Alive websites, with rights to the two domain names.

3. A 1974 Cadillac limosine like the one Elvis rode in. This is used for advertising purposes in front of the museum. It is fairly low mileage, but time has not been kind to the exterior. It hasn't been started for several years and you should plan to trailer it. The interior is fairly nice.

4. Rights to two different books , authored by Bill Beeny, that detail why he believes Elvis did not die on August 16, 1977.

5. Approximately 250 copies of one of the books that sells for $6.00 each.

6. Approximately 265 copies of the Elvis Is Alive Book, published by Brouden Press in Boston. Retail on each is $13.00.

7. Elvis picture books, approximately 100 copies at $1.00 each.

8. A real casket with an manequin dressed similar to Elvis, several flower sprays, creating an Elvis funeral scene. On the casket are posted 10 reasons why they believe it was not Elvis in the casket.

9. A replica of the tomb of Elvis.

10. 12 heavy duty steel display shelves & 6 wooden display shelves.

11. Miscellaneous Elvis souvenir items.

12. Neon "Elvis" light.

13. 48 pictures of Elvis in frames of various sizes.

14. Over 400 pictures of Elvis, not framed.

15. 1 life sized cardboard standup of Elvis and 1 standup of Marilyn Monroe.

16. A life sized manequin with a sequin dress and a sign that says "Marilyn"

17. Over the tomb of Elvis is an oil portrait of Elvis (See gallery pic). This was painted by a professional artist who normally gets fees in the $2,000.00 to $3,000.00 range for her comissions.

18. There are copies of over 600 pages from FBI files which document the fact that Elvis worked with the FBI and DEA. Just prior to his death, he assisted the FBI in a sting operation on a crime mob. Briefly after, he recieved multiple death threats.

19. A television with two VCRs which play films while visitors are in the museum

20. About 50 different tabloids which have featured Elvis through the years.

21. Numerous files and hard cover books that were donated to the museum by Phil Aitchen of the Presley Commission.

22. a 2 foot plaster bust of Elvis.

As you can see, the King lives, off in the Witness Protection program and probably dividing his time between Sun City and the Kona Coast. You, dear reader, can be the custodian of the truth.

I'm not sure why Marilyn is here (and she isn't enumerated among the stock) except that she's dead, too... or is she? Was Marilyn a DEA agent??

The revelations that await you! The treasures (and web site!!) that will be yours! I was sort of disappointed that the building in Wright, MO, didn't come with the stock, but it probably would be too much of a commute, now that gas is back at 3 bucks a gallon.

Oh dear... digressing again, and at such a crucial time. You must act NOW!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


America's Senescent Pastor Endorses America's Mayor, Even Though America Isn't a City...or a Church

Evangelist Pat Robertson and Republican Presidential Hopeful Rudy Giuliani took some time out of their occupational therapy session in order to bask in the mutual satisfaction of keeping Americans under the illusion that the Republican Party alone stands between them and another terrorist attack.

Sporting a smart new straitjacket of organic muslin and trimmed with hemp, Giuliani thanked Robertson for his endorsement, noting that Robertson's "experience" and "counsel" will prove invaluable during his campaign. Giuliani bounced up and down on Robertson's lap like a ventriloquist's dummy.

"Isn't he cute?" asked an obviously adoring Robertson. "I feel with him."

In addition, Robertson praised "America's mayor" and declared that his occupancy of the White House would result in the sort of bipartisan professionalism so badly needed in the nation's capitol.

"We can be sure with Rudy Giuliani at the helm that America will likely piss off everyone in the Middle East except Israel, which should lead to a new attack, which will probably lead to a further reduction in civil liberties, which will reinforce our national paranoia, and crank up our national phobias, and eventually, Bingo! We've reined in all those libertines and mental health advocates that we and the Taliban so strenuously object to."

Smiling broadly, Giuliani thanked Robertson for overlooking his connections to corrupt NYC officials those big ol' lies he told about the firefighters in the towers on 9/11, and his shoddy family history. "I think we can work together to make a real difference for America. There won't be an amendment left in the Bill of Rights when we get through," he declared, and then hastily added "except for the Second," when Robertson's eyebrows invaded his hairline.

The two then returned to their beadwork. Robertson is making a new crown for Jesus, and Rudy is hard at work on a cell phone case for his third wife, Judith.

Monday, November 05, 2007


The Best Kind of Bidness

Here's a first of sorts. I've never written a post in praise of a business. I did write a piece on the importance of Fair Trade coffees a couple of years ago, but businesses as such haven't done much to catch my fancy.

That changed last August, when my spouse and I wandered into a shop, Gifts of Life, while we were at a Bach Festival in North Conway, NH. (My spouse is a devotee of the Great Man, and parenthetically, the festival was quite wonderful. As usual, I digress!) We were sucking up iced espresso in the midst of a heat wave and reading local papers, the better to learn about other attractions. There was a little article on this shop, specializing not in bloody posters and tee shirts of aborted fetuses, as I first feared, but in fairly traded crafts, often made from recycled materials, from all over the world. We had to see.

We tracked down its out-of-the-way location and found its proprietor, a lady aglow with the prospect of making a difference, and lots and lots of cool gift items.
Our pictures don't do justice to them all--there are beautiful necklaces and earrings and many more baskets, both of native materials and recycled wire. There are angels made from recycled pesticide cans, the proceeds of which go to anti-malarial projects. There are cool bags made from woven juice boxes! The theme of recycling and re-creation runs through lots of the stock. Lots of hand-carved African art, lots of whimsical toys. We dropped about $200 there, and let me tell you, we are usually loath to part with much dough.

The prices are also highly reasonable. The shop's owner, who went into business by selling off some old farm machinery at her place, wants these items to be available to all sorts of
folks, not merely a few rich people who want to show off their social consciousness during the holidays. There are absolute bargains all over the place, since this enterprise has the passion of idealism as its motor.

Do follow the link to the website. You'll find truly unusual gifts that will delight you and your pals.

Thursday, November 01, 2007


My Spam, My Self

Like many mah-drenn gals, I measure my life satisfaction by the options that show up in my inbox as spam.

For a while, I felt that the cyber-gods had joined forces with Satan and had looked deep into my pathetic little soul and written me off as Definitely On Her Way Out. There were only invitations to trim my belly fat and purchase a high-cost/expensive/many dollars/costly [replica] watch. This was painful to me, especially when I heard that our very sweet and ladylike children's librarian was getting offers that peeled the paint off the Tiny Tots Room.

Well! I thought bitterly. Just because I have passed the age of 60 (and therefore, according to some manufacturers, require 15 times the light that I required before merely to read and do needlework, not that I actually do needlework) should not exempt me from being grossed out by the spam that amazes millions of younger Americans.

I needn't have feared. Just look at the subject lines of today's inbox offerings!

Medications that you need
Time control (those fucking watches again)
Garden (actually Viagra, but that's Satan for you)
Purchase your medications at better prices
Your insatiable chick will be full of pleasure (promotes a Promising New Product called MegaDik)
Extra-Time is your first step to happier...
Discover the source for cheap and quality...
An awesome sex toy for men! (This is for the Personal Puss, an alarmingly lifelike virginal pussy) Image at right is supposed to be fantasy virgin!!??
Lose your weight with pleasure! (Viagra with appetite suppressant?)
From now on small breasts will never be the c...
Hot sex with Viagra pills!
Increase your sperm and pleasure
Give your partner new feelings while have a sex (the ESL crowd)
Experience masturbation as never before

My boss's forward from American Libraries Direct looked small and lonely in the climate of all this rough, warm and moist trade.

Sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing!

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