Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day (Bah! Humbug!)

Well, it's Valentine's Day. Yippee. (Again, with the sarcasm...) The altered pagan Lupercian festival, and ancient Roman rite of passage, during which adolescent men would be randomly assigned a woman "companion" for the duration of the year. The "lucky ladies" names were drawn randomly, lottery style, and they would become the "playthings" of the young men who had drawn their names. (How very romantic!)

The Roman emperor Claudius II had forbidden marriage, because he felt that married men were poor soldiers, often unwilling or reluctant to leave their families for battle. So along comes Valentine, a bishop who encouraged young lovers to secretly come to him so that he may join them in matrimony. Claudius heard of this, and was impressed by Valentine's "ballsy" defiance, and tried unsuccessfully to convert Valentine to their pagan religion. Valentine was soon clubbed, stoned, and beheaded. (Doesn't that give you a warm, fuzzy feeling?)

Anyway, I hate Valentine's day... always have, always will. I hated Valentine's Day when I was a pudgy little first grader sitting alone in the corner consoling myself with a chocolate bunny (that my mommy gave me) crying because none of my classmates gave me a Valentine's card. I hated Valentine's Day when I was in my early 20s, when the guy I had been dating called me up (a couple hours before he was supposed to be taking me out to dinner) to tell me that his ex-girlfriend called and that they were getting back together. "Isn't that great?" Uh...yeah...sure... I even hate Valentine's Day NOW, because my well intentioned husband bought me a huge box of chocolates, while I'm in the midst of my mega-diet. (sigh...)

So, in honor of this crappy holiday, I've compiled a "Late-Show" style top ten list for your amusement.

Top 10 Things You NEVER Want to Hear on Valentine's Day:

10.) "It's not you... it's me."

9.) "I'm gonna be a little late picking you up tonight... I'm over at the free clinic getting that rash looked at."

8.) "I'm really touched that you got my name tatooed on your tush, but, my real name is Jake. I just told you it was Ross, because I'm like, a really big fan of "Friends", and I thought it was a really cool name... sorry."

7.) "You really need to get some new panties... those thongs tend to pull at my butt hair."

6.) "Those chocolates are guaranteed to get your digestive system running more smoothly in about... [looks at watch] ... ten minutes." Crap-tiv-ia!

5.) "I'm pregnant... with your mother's baby."

4.) "I'd love to buy you that engagement ring... but, I'm afraid I'm already married!"

3.) "I'm gay... but, even if I wasn't, I wouldn't be caught dead with you! You needs ta do somethin' with that nappy hair, girl-frin!" [snap, snap, snap]

2.) "But, I thought you said you were into trying new things?!" [moo, cluck, baaaaa!]

1.) "Get out of my house before I call the police! I'm just playing with you, baby...get over here and gimme some lovin'. Touch me, and DIE! I want you, sweetie. I want you to DIE, you crazy freak! Oh...did I mention that I'm bipolar?"

Well, I hope you enjoyed the list. I gotta go. I've got a huge box of chocolates to eat before the kids get home. [drool] Crappy Valentine's Day! (nope...not a typo...)

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Pareidolia... Really?

The term pareidolia "describes a psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus (often an image or sound) being perceived as significant. Common examples include images of animals or faces in clouds, the man in the moon, and hidden messages on records played in reverse." (source: Pareidolia. (2008, January 29). In Wikipedia, The free encyclopedia. Retrieved February 7, 2008, from

I'm sure you've all heard of this phenomenon. There was the tortilla that supposedly bore the image of Christ...there was the toasted cheese sandwich that resembled the Virgin Mary. But, be it a Nasa photograph containing what appears to be a man-like creature, the spirit of the late Pope waving at us from a bonfire, or a potato chip that resembles Jay all can be classified as pareidolia.

I've always thought of myself as a fairly logical person. My point of view is that most of these bizarre sightings can be scientifically explained away. Many, I'm sure could be attributed to a neuro-chemical imbalance, an overactive imagination, or hallucinogenic drug use. I must say, and I mean no disrespect, I've always thought that the people who brought forth these interesting observations, could probably stand to have a little psychiatric observation of their own. I mean, seriously...this stuff is just too out there to be entirely legitimate. Maybe a good conversational topic among close friends and family...but not necessarily something you would want to point out to society as a whole. (Unless you enjoy the soothing comfort of a padded room and a wardrobe consisting entirely of summer-white garments that fasten in the back.)

That's not to say that I have never enjoyed lying in the grass and looking for shapes in the clouds. My daughters and I have frequently done so. We'd find boats and dragons... houses and butterflies. But, I never felt that there was any "divine significance" attributed to our discoveries. Occasionally, I might make a pancake that vaguely resembles Scooby-Doo. I may have once spilled bleach on a load of darks and noticed the blotchy profile of John Lennon on my Levi's. (shrug) Purely coincidence, I say. Or...IS IT?!

Yesterday, I was picking up my daughters from school. I pulled up in line waiting for the little darlings to be dismissed. Then, in my rearview mirror I swear I saw it!! There, reflected in my mirror, I could see the windshield of the car behind me...and in the center of that windshield, was the frosty image of Peter Criss (the legendary former drummer for KISS) in full cat makeup!!! I got chills...really!! Especially since... at the exact moment I saw the image... the song Beth was being played on the radio!! (well, actually, I'm lying about that part... I was actually listening to my Peter Frampton cd... but, anyway...)

I couldn't help but continue to look back at the "face" on the windshield. It was almost like it was calling to me! As my rear defroster started kicking into action, and the remnants of frost started melting away from my rear window, it was almost as if the "face" was moving... like it was trying to talk to me (or sing for me).

I continued to watch...absolutely mesmirized.

Eventually my windows cleared completely...and much to my dismay, I saw that the image I had been staring at with such intensity...was actually a handicap "hang tag" on the visor of the car behind me... accentuated by the frost that I was too lazy to scrape before I left the house! (sigh!) (It really is quite amazing how a frosty handicap symbol can "magically transform" into a 70's rock icon under the right conditions.)

I really need to switch to decaf.

Well, folks, I really should be going. I'm sure if I go take a peek in one of those horrid food storage containers in my refrigerator... I might just be able to find a map of Atlantis in my moldy three-bean casserole. Could sell on ebay... you never know! (wink)

Friday, February 1, 2008

Coffee Calamity

Well, it snowed...again. School has been cancelled. Yipee. (Notice the lack of enthusiasm.) But, that's the least of my worries today.

I woke this morning, brewed my usual pot of coffee, poured myself a nice steamy cup of sanity, and realized (gasp!) that I'm out of creamer. (stiffling a sob)

Now, I used to always drink my coffee black. Loved the stuff. But, then I discovered the wonderful world of flavored coffee additives, the blessed creations that they are. (swoon) I began to enjoy the smooth creaminess of French vanilla...the soothingly subtle hint of hazelnut...the blissfully silky tones of amaretto. (moan)

It's an addiction, really. A sinful, naughty addiction. A "spank-me-if-you-must-because-I-really-gotta-have-it" addiction. A "sitting-on-a-park-bench-homeless-with-a-paper-bag-from-Starbucks" addiction. A "pimp-me-out...please-just-gimme-a-little-taste" addiction. A "give-it-to-me-and-I'll-purr-like-a-baby-walrus" addiction. (whew! Is it getting warm in here?!)

Anyway...I'm stuck here with the nearest grocery mere blocks away...taunting me. I'd walk, but I can't take the baby out in this nasty weather. And, I certainly can't leave him here! I could just see the headlines: Baby Abandoned As Mother Seeks Coffee-Mate "Fix".

Oh...woe....woe is me!

I'd try to make some, but regrettably, I'm fresh out of Dipotassium Phosphate, and I'm running dangerously low on Silicon Dioxide and Soy Lecithin. What the heck have I been drinking for the past year!!! Weird ingredients aside...I MUST have it!!! I don't care if, months from now, I have a third leg sprouting out of my neck and an additional buttock! GIVE ME THAT SWEET CREAMY GOODNESS THAT I SO DESPERATELY CRAVE!!!!! (slapping myself) Snap out of it!

Well, anyway, I'm going to try to make it though a creamer-free day. (weep) Maybe...with the roads so slick and hazardous today...a Cremora truck might have a nasty little "accident" in front of my house. (I swear I'd be out there lapping the stuff off the sidewalk like a kitten with a saucer of milk!) (sigh)

Well, I gotta go for now. But, if you're in the neighborhood...I'd gladly pay you Tuesday for an Espresso Macchiato today. (grin) Thanks a Latte! (Yeah...that one was a bit corny...even for me!)