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DeVos Confirmed; Wildlife Scatters

Too bad our children are sitting ducks for this cash-saturated wannabe.

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Uncategorized

How Jennifer Aniston Stays So Young

2a5c20ce554f6ca05161973f8ec6e98fMy teenaged daughters recently discovered old episodes of Friends on Netflix, and while imposing myself on some of their recreational time recently I noticed that Jennifer Aniston has not only maintained her youthful appearance, she is arguably even hotter Aniston-in her 40s than she was in her late twenties. In those old episodes she was cute, but she’s transcended that to the rarefied level of scorching magnificence while somehow maintaining a girl next door sort of casual appeal.  It’s a wonder, given that dynamic, that stalkers don’t surround her castle like the suitors of Penelope at Ithaca.

At first I thought is was just me, and my own aging perspective–the young girl thing doesn’t really rock me any more, aside from a general acknowledgement of aesthetic appeal. College girls–and the flock of young, indistinguishable from each other, hollywood starlits flooding television and mainstream movies– look like children to me, not just out of my league but, you know, eeeeeewwww creepy young. Criminally young. But someone like Tea Leoni? Woff, woof. Or Sheryl Crow, Julianne Moore, Diane Lane?  Those are proper subjects for unrequited lust  of respect and admiration. I’ve never really thought of Aniston as a sex symbol or, as Websters’ calls it, a “smokin’ hottie,” but my childrens’ discovery of her forced me to re-evaluate.

This Aniston, however, is–or was–a bit of a conundrum. Can clean living do all that? Was there medical intervention?  An inspection of Aniston’s close friend and fellow Friends alum Courtney Cox, reveals that the answer is no: Courtney looks great, but we can see right through that shit.)  There can only be one solution: cannibalistic filicide.

7174b1b0-a54f-11e4-bb39-1bed1b48d746_Jennifer-Aniston-SAG-AwardsAccording to the tabloids at which I’ve been gawking while in line at the grocery store over the past 20 years, Ms. Aniston has pretty much been constantly pregnant for most of my adult life.

Twenty years of pregnancy means at least 18 babies, presuming a quick turnaround following a typical 40-week pregnancy and a bare minimum 4 month recovery time, and not factoring in the many sets of twins she has been rumored to have conceived.  And yet, we’ve heard no rumors of either termination nor miscarriage, but…

NO BABIES.

Could Jennifer Aniston have the most tragic reproductive history in the entire…um…ever?  Given the volume and intensity of new coverage she’s historically generated, I suspect we’d hear about it, loudly, were it true. So the only solution is:

Jennifer Aniston becomes impregnated by some of Hollywood’s most vibrant stars, carries their children, and upon delivering these children under top secret conditions, she eats her young, consuming not only their vibrancy but their very souls.  It’s the only viable solution.

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Quote

Wednesday Words of Wisdom: Charles Dickens

charles-dickens-st_2439822bChristmas time! That man must be a misanthrope indeed, in whose breast something like a jovial feeling is not roused – in whose mind some pleasant associations are not awakened – by the recurrence of Christmas. –Charles Dickens

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Narrative/Journal

I’ve Missed You Too–But Not That Much: Baking Cookies With Mom

A few years back....
A few years back….

Notice my spotty attendance here on my own blog, and in the “like” and “comment” sections of blogs I normally read?  Well, I’ve missed you too–but not that much.

I haven’t missed you because I’ve spent three of the past four days in a warm kitchen with my strange 72-year old mom baking Christmas cookies and talking and driving each other a little crazy, in no small part due to the half pound of coffee beans we’ve exploited in the name of powering this annual venture.  But hey, I’m baking cookies with my mom, the way she used to bake cookies with her mom.  And I’m man enough to brag about it.

The caveat: this woman is frustrating in so many ways I can’t detail here lest I destroy her reputation, and none of those things really matter because she’s also quite possibly the nicest person I know.  What maddens me is the reflection of my own faults that I see amplified in her–everything I would list on a New Year’s Resolution countdown is right there in her eyes, a syndrome I suspect is not unique to my family.  On the other hand, it could be that she’s pretty much all I’ve got–my family tree has been whittled down by divorce, attrition and complacency to the point where the biggest venue we’d need for a reunion is the corner booth at Denny’s.  (Do they still have those?)  Aside from mom, with the exception of one cousin, sentiment for me in that branch of the family ranges from smug indifferent to open hostility.

That sounds like whining, but I’m a big boy, I tried my best, and it’s no small mystery that I tend to be an acquired taste–like drinking cheap vodka: there’s some painful burning at the beginning, a few laughs in the middle, but ultimately you wake up sick. At least I have a paradigm.  Some guys can only dream….

But cookies.  My mom can’t cook for shit.  Sounds crude, but it’s the best way to say it.  As I’ve written here recently, I was well into college before I realized that roast beef isn’t supposed to be ghostly grey, or that most recipes don’t start with the phrase “First brown a pound of ground beef…” or that vegetables don’t mostly come from aluminum cans.  She learned everything she knows from her mother, but the both of them could sure as hell make some tasty cookies.  These weren’t fancy cookies, mind you, but nor were they the sort of self-consciously “colonial” bland molasses and raisin-filled shit you’d expect from folks who so stubbornly clung to their damp, English Methodist culinary flagellation.  No family in the history of the world has fetishized bad food like ours.

Except at the holidays, those few times of the year when they gave a damn; and that’s the key point: when they gave a damn.  It is the fault of my mother, and her mother before her, that I am a Christmas zealot, in turn weepy-eyed and jubilant over the “most wonderful time of the year.”

We made at least 10 dozen of multiple recipes including tollhouse, sugar cookies (both sugared and frosted), thumbprint cookies stuffed with frosting or jelly, snickerdoodles, peanut butter blossoms, peanut butter cup tarts.  So yeah, hundreds of cookies. At this point, we’ve consumed almost 20 pounds of flour, 12 pounds of butter, several pounds each of brown and granulated sugar, six ounces of vanilla, about 40 eggs.  Still, it’s not really about what we produced.

We spent a lot of time waiting for the stove to catch up to our cooking, but I got to hear all her best stories and–surprise–some new content while we were throwing back java and listening to the blaring Christmas Music.  It’s the thing we do–I mix, she cuts, shapes, or rolls, then I sugar or decorate. We talk.

I must admit that when I first started doing this, I was thinking she was an easy mark to exploit for labor–she’ll roll out and cut sugar cookie dough all day long,  like a harvester racing an approaching rain. Over the years, it’s become more about the time together, but not because she’s doing anything different.  At Christmas, I am patient enough, welcoming enough, to accept her, which is a good thing because, kharma-wise, I’m going to need ten times the patience from my children some day.

 

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Commentary Quote

Wednesday Words of Wisdom: Stephen Fry

First_look_at_Stephen_Fry_and_Kiefer_Sutherland_in_Sky_Arts_Christmas_drama_MarkedChristmas to a child is the first terrible proof that to travel hopefully is better than to arrive.– Stephen Fry

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My All-Time Favorite Christmas Decoration

My daughter made this way back in elementary school–we didn’t date it, so I can’t say exactly when, but it had to be first or second grade.  Or earlier.  I keep thinking that I should try to have it laminated, but my wife thinks that doing so would ruin it and we should just “let it run it’s course.”

Me, I want to save it forever–quickly summing up the differences in our perspectives.  I am a soppy sentimentalist, she’s more of an in-the-moment realist.  The mix has worked out pretty well for the past twenty years–and, hey, without her I’d never have this cool decoration, nor the countless great Christmas memories we’ve accumulated over those years.
My favorite Christmas Decoration by cbmanges

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Commentary

Elizabeth Lauten & The Obama Girls

I suppose most of you–among the American contingent, at least–have by now heard about Elizabeth Lauten’s ill-considered, vile attack on President Obama’s teen-aged daughters, Sasha(16), and Malia(13).  I’ve been busy with family for the past three days, so I’m a little Obamas Yawnlate to the game, but I had to take an opportunity to say my piece.  First, in case you missed it, here’s the skinny:  Every year the President does this corny bit in which he “pardons” a couple of turkeys before going inside the White House to, um, have a nice turkey dinner.  It’s silly, but silly in a fun, nice, old-fashioned way.  The teenaged Obamas, as teens tend to be, were unimpressed in a very obvious, expertly ambivalent way.

Anyone who has ever known a teenager knows those faces.  Annoying? Sure.  But also an opportunity: anyone who has never mocked a child who is making that face hasn’t truly lived.  I enjoy it on an almost daily basis.

ClimberElizabeth Lauten, the communications director for U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.) obviously has not had the pleasure, addressing the humorous image with a fusillade of angry denigration, publicly ridiculing President Obama’s children with a shockingly aggressive, repugnant, and inexcusable venom while taking a few oblique shots at the President and Mrs. Obama at the same time.

Elizabeth-Lauten-FB.png.CROP.rtstoryvar-mediumI ought not to be surprised–I like to joke that the only group I detest more than Democrats is Republicans, but the fact is that in the outright nasty department it takes one hell of an aggressive liberal to out-insult a  conservative.  Just think on Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, and all those gap-toothed inbreds who insist on writing italicizing the President’s middle name, Barack Hussein Obama like it matters.  In the low blows department, these people are whacking at ankles with croquet mallets and laughing all the way to their meetings with Wall Street swindlers and CEO’s of offshore-based corporations.  Why wouldn’t they take aim at innocent children, especially given the enthusiastic, muttering hate of a small but vocal minority of the far right for the President?

A lot of folks are calling for Ms. Lauten’s head on a platter, or a least for her swollen cankles to be compelled to take their place in an unemployment line.  Not me.  I don’t give a shit.  Apologies have been demanded, but I don’t care about those, either–I’d rather the bitch stood adamantly behind her words then to cower behind insincere, politically expedient words scripted by a public relations consultant.

What really irks me is the script Ms. Lauten followed when the inevitable apology oozed out of her office.
apology

What a load of cow pies, right?

“Blah, blah, blah I want to keep my job blah blah blah AFTER MANY HOURS OF PRAYER…blah blah blah.” That’s what I read.

I loathe this shit.  When I’ve tried to help people understand poetry, one of the tactics I suggested was to re-read a particular work with an eye towards visualizing each metaphorical element, then think about how they fit into the narrative.  That strategy can be instructive in this situation as well: just imagine Ms. Lauten on her knees, hands folded in front of her, communing with His Holy Humungousness–for “many hours,” on Thanksgiving Day no less,  over her venal skewering of a couple of innocent teenaged girls.  “Whatta ya think, G-Dawg, was that too much?”

I’m hear to tell you: that doesn’t mean a gawd-durned thing. I don’t give a good damn how much she prayed after the fact, playing the God Card now is a small, petty, and wholly transparent response.  Thinking that we’ll fall for such a cynical bit of ass-covering nonsense is, at best, gravely insulting.  Furthermore, I’m tired of self-professed Christians acting like supreme, sociopathic asshats until they’re called on it, only to step back, shove God in our faces, and ask forgiveness.  We’re smarter than that.  We see through you.

I mean: I’m an atheist, I don’t go to Church unless someone is dead or getting married, but somehow I know better than to act this way.  Why don’t they?  The truth is that they do.  They know, but they just don’t care.  Christian morality is little more than part of the costume they wear, like a prostitute in a corset and push-up bra, to seduce the weak and the idiotic.

Note: It seems Ms. Lauten isn’t alone in her cynical use of Christianity to serve her own wickedness.  This is her employer:  http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2013/05/22/gop-congressman-stephen-fincher-on-a-mission-from-god-starve-the-poor-while-personally-pocketing-millions-in-farm-subsidies/

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Funny and/or Strange Photo I Like Photo I Took

I’m Going to Sue “South Park”

They clearly ripped off my creations:

Snowbunnies

And passed them off as their own:

SouthParkBoys_(Medium)

Am I right, or am I right?

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Uncategorized

Children’s Letters to Megyn Kelly, Posted by Andy Borowitz

Too funny not to post.

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/borowitzreport/2013/12/childrens-letters-to-megyn-kelly.html

‘Black-As-Hell’-Santa-Claus-Appears-on-SNL‘s-Weekend-Update-to-Address-Megyn-Kelly-Mediaite
‘Black-As-Hell’-Santa-Claus-is not real.

Why is this funny?  Because Kelly recently set the record straight regarding people of color who dared to think that Santa might possibly look more like them that he is traditionally portrayed. Kelly wasn’t hearing it.

“For all you kids watching at home, Santa just is white.” She said.  Of course, she couldn’t just stop there.  Overcome by a sudden attack of foot-in-mouth disease, there were megyn-kellya few other concerns Ms. Kelly, who was obviously hired at Fox for her unfathomably awesome intellect, set everything–er–right.  “Jesus was a white man, too. It’s like we have, he’s a historical figure that’s a verifiable fact, as is Santa, I just want kids to know that. How do you revise it in the middle of the legacy in the story and change Santa from white to black?”  I found her words to be deeply reassuring.

I’ve always been a little unsettled by the fact that Jesus came from the jesus_pictures_wallpapers_christ_christian_chrstmas_xamas_06Middle East, where all the Terrorists come from.  I had read an article a while back in Popular Mechanics about a forensic artist who gathered all the data he could find about Jesus and his worldly ancestors and attempted to create a reasonable approximation of what a carpenter from Nazareth might have looked like–and the result looked NOTHING like me.  This guy to the right, except for the Woodstock hair style, is much more appealing.

http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/health/a234/1282186/

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Commentary Uncategorized

The Inherent Dangers of Elf on the Shelf

JunkChuck
December 16, 2013 at 4:46 am

This is one of the weirdest things of which I’ve heard in a long time. It sounds crazy, but maybe it’s better to demand good and respectful all year round instead of having to bear down on that “he sees you when you’re sleeping” BS–and the idea that an inanimate elf springs to life at night and–it’s just too damned Chucky for me.

ChuckyDoll

Everything is Better Wrapped in Bacon

If you’re like me, then the holidays are a time of elaborate decoration, gift-giving and the hidden look of disappointment in your parents’ eyes as they come to terms with another season that you’ve stood by your decision not to have children. Luckily for my parents, my younger sister has two little boys that love Christmas! My parents adore them and my sister and her husband are heavily involved in their lives and forming nostalgic memories for them to look back fondly on.  One of the “traditions” that my sister introduced is the Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition.

For those of you who aren’t in the know as I was not, Elf on the Shelf is a posable elf doll and accompanying book that outlines what this little elf means for the children of the house. The book goes on to tell the children to whom it is…

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