Monday, December 31, 2012

Monday Meh, blow it out yer ___ edition (A Collective Poem)

"Women with party favors" Photo by Leslie Jones from the Boston Public Library Flickr Archive
Perched on the edge of a fiscal cliff
I cannot help but wonder if
the new year will be any diff-
erent than Two Thousand Twelve.

Will the world become more kind
than in the year that's soon behind
or will  __________* still be maligned
like in Two Thousand Twelve?

Global warming not averted,
Women's health rights unasserted,
Naked greed un-pantsed and -shirted;
I'm disappointed, Two Thousand Twelve.

(your verse appears below in color)**

Same old Boss got re-elected.
Death and war quite unaffected.
Our poor grew ever more dejected.
Was this your plan Two-Thousand Twelve?

Occupy and unions surveilled and tested.
Tea Parties and banks left unmolested.
Lawmakers all uninterested.
Just S.O.P. Two-Thousand-Twelve.

 I've lost life's passion
My heart has turned hard and ashen
My words to myself are hard and bashin'
"My lard-ass is jiggling like a Kardashian."

-- according to Now in Two Thousand Twelve.

Obama's son Trayvon is dead!
attacks by gun are up
wages and production down
end of the year and what do we get
a ball drop in New York, 

end of Two Thousand Twelve.

Losing rights day by day
But one needs revising anyway
Give 26 bullets to the NRA
And then just go away Two Thousand Twelve.

Heft yourself up two thousand twelve
let your stink rot away on the shelf.
Kiss my ass you were one very fucked up year,
you’ve already got me marked and labeled
bent naked and flat across the fucking table
a bit lower and place your lips upon my rear!***

I am unfamiliar with Kardishians
But I know what Congress is slashing
The social programs and safety nets they are lashing
To give tax breaks to the rich.

Can't develop any pass-i-on
for a rhyming with Kardashian
who are shameless with their fash-i-on
but could use a good whip lash-i(o)n'

-- says Harlequin re: two Thousand Twelve.

But auld acquaintance be forgot
this New Year's Eve let's drink a lot
and leave with this departing thought:
It could've been worse, Two Thousand Twelve.

 Happy New Year Anyway.

(* gays, immigrants, liberals, women, the unemployed, the 99%, single parents, minorities, socialists, Muslims, people who "look" Muslim,  -- just part of the exhaustive list of groups who were bullied one way or another by politicians, media, and sometimes entire countries in 2012. There wasn't room to list them all in the rhyme scheme so insert your favorite! )

**Hey kids - a genius friend of mine (I'll just call him "Kevin" ) had the idea to make this a crowd-sourced poem. If you want to play along, compose your own verse in the comments, below, and I'll paste it in a different colored font into the body of the poem (the original will be in black). 
UPDATE: Non-political verses welcome, too -- now's the time to bemoan the NHL lockout, Whitney Houston's untimely passing, and Honey BooBoo's appearance. Special prize for the first poet who can rhyme "Kardashian."
UPDATE 1.1.13: Just like the NRA won't restrict access to firearms, I've decided to lift any restrictions on rhyme scheme. Sticks and stones, ya know....

*** Read more of Detroit poet M Durfee's work at The Walking Man 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

When the weather outside is frightful

You can order your own copy HERE.
When the wind howls and the snow blows and there's nothing to do besides all the housework that I've let slide for the past 4 months while working full time and being a grad student part time -- that's when I like to sit down with a mug of tea, a plate of cookies, and a good book. Blogging buddy Murr has gone and put a bunch of her most excellent essays in convenient book form, and I highly recommend it. Even though I have been a reader of Murrmurrs for a year or so, I have apparently incinerated enough brain cells to impair my short-term memory (see reference to hot flashes in previous post), and so it's like reading all this material fresh. And as Murr helpfully points out, I don't really want to take my computer to the loo with me.

Hopefully the memory loss is a temporary phenomenon, but my copy of Trousering Your Weasel is for keeps.

Unless the dog gets ahold of it.

(PS - Don't forget the cookies. You'll laugh 'em off, I promise!)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Rum Cake for Breakfast

Photo Credit

Scene:  December 25, 2012. 08:45 a.m. Somewhere in the upper east corner of Tennessee (they don't like to call it NORTHeast Tennessee, for some reason), in the kitchen of a century-old wooden frame house, a solitary female is at work, washing a few serving dishes, wineglasses, baking pans -- items that are too old or fragile or unwieldy to go in the automatic dishwasher, which will hopefully go on churning its way through several more post-Christmas Eve cleanups. In a bedroom down the hall, a TV blares, but the woman ignores it, knowing that whatever holiday goodwill she is feeling will be destroyed by the sound of the so-called "journalists" on the Channel That Shall Not Be Named. Instead, for some reason, the song "Mele Kalikimaka" is running in a loop through her head. She lets it run through several verses while she finishes the last of the washing, wipes down the counter tops, and opens the refrigerator to get something for breakfast. The woman's eyes scan the shelves, passing over the leftover ham, the crate of clementines, jars of jams and condiments -- and then the silvery foil catches her eye. 

Rum cake! 

One slice of cake and one cup of coffee later, the woman is ready to get to work, baking the birthday cake for her daughter, who decided to make her debut at 7:31 a.m. on a Christmas morning 22 years earlier.

The Christmas you get, you deserve.

'Tis the season...

Browsing through my photos yesterday, I thought this Chihuly chandelier, if rotated upside-down, would make an interesting Christmas tree substitute. There's something Dr. Seussical about Chihuly's work, maybe that's why I like it so. But there is also the mystery of how a material as fragile as glass can be made to take on the shapes, colors, and substantial presence that the artist imagines. During much of this past year I've felt as fragile as glass, but in spite of all the things that were thrown at me, I didn't break. So I guess that means I'm not really made of glass after all, which is a really good thing, because lately I've been having hot flashes of nuclear proportions, quite possibly capable of melting glass. I'm beginning to feel guilty for contributing to global warming....

Alas, that's the only thing I have to feel guilty about. Ain't misbehavin' at all these days, which would be less lamentable if I was channeling my energy into something productive. But even the small changes I'm working on take a huge amount of effort. I hope I have some oomph left for when it's time to tackle something really BIG. Taking the path of least resistance, as I have been, has only been leading me in circles....

I have a plan cookin' on the back burner, though. Of course, it requires the cooperation of various family members, and of my own body (especially you, knees....are you listening?) and resolve. I know I'm really pretty lucky and have had a way better year than a lot of people. But that doesn't mean I'm not ready to kick 2012 out the door. Next year has to be better, right?

Merry Christmas, y'all. Tune in next year -- I'm going to try and make it a more blog-worthy one, if nothing else!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

If it's Wednesday...

...there's got to be a wiener dog at PRS! Today you are being treated to a recent portrait of the intellihome's resident wiener dog, Scooter Pie. Miss Pie celebrated her 13th birthday back in September, but she is in pretty good shape thanks to a new walking regime (we'll see how that holds up over the winter) and to our continued ability to turn a deaf ear to her pleas to share our people food with her. No doubt part of her good looks can be attributed to her strict routine of a minimum of five naps per day, too.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Monday meh

Where did my 4-day weekend go?
Come to think of it, where did 2012 go?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wienerdog Wednesday - Good News Edition!

Via BBC (18/11/2012): Scientists have reversed paralysis in dogs after injecting them with cells grown from the lining of their nose.The pets had all suffered spinal injuries which prevented them from using their back legs.

The Cambridge University team is cautiously optimistic the technique could eventually have a role in the treatment of human patients. The study is the first to test the transplant in "real-life" injuries rather than laboratory animals.

...and wouldn't you know it, a wienerdog was one of the first success stories! Read the full story,  here. The only thing left to wonder is, if the procedures is tested in humans, will they use dachshund nose cells???

Tomorrow I will give thanks that, among other things, Scooter Pie has recovered as fully as a 13-year-old doxie can from the mobility problems she was suffering from earlier this year.

Wishing a Wienerful Thanksgiving Day to all my US friends

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

We Have A Wiener!

Scooter Pie is glad Bo gets to stay in the big dog house for 4 more years!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wienerdog Wednesday, Holiday Edition

From photographer Seth Casteel's book, Underwater Dogs

Hoping everyone has a frightfully good Halloween tonight. In Bubbaville they held Trick-or-Treat yesterday evening so that the local churches' "Jesus Ween" festivities wouldn't have competition tonight. I didn't expect there to be any kids out last night, what with the 20-degree wind chills and 6-inch snowfall that we got, courtesy of Sandy, so I hadn't taken the usual precautions of closing all the blinds and turning out all first floor lighting until after Trick-or-Treat ends. Wouldn't you know it, though, the doorbell rang promptly at 7pm. Being proper heathens, we turned away the kids who came to the door -- some holiday observations are best not toyed with!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Here Every Data Is Quality Based Information

Well, it's not exactly the Nobel Prize, but still, it validates me. That's right, you have it on the authority of esteemed commenter "Anonymous" (who took time from his or her or its busy schedule peddling nonprescription remedies for erectile dysfunction to visit the post-raphaelite sisterhood) that here at the prs blog no effort is spared to insure that every data is indeed quality based information. It's because I care so very deeply about  you, dear readers. Never will the data presented here be anything less. And I work hard in support of that.

Even though I already felt I was doing a good job, on the less and less frequent occasions when I actually manage to post something, I appreciate this affirmation from dear anonymous. I've always believed in quality over quantity.

Except during Happy Hour.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

wienerdog wednesday - vacation edition

A belated Wienerdog Wednesday from my vacation at Myrtle Beach. Unfortunately, my own wienerdog had to be boarded back home -- no pets allowed in our condo, and besides, I wouldn't want to see what kind of mess her long coat would be after frolicking in the surf.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Snack for the Times

What were the folks at Pepperidge Farm thinking? Their new crackers leave a bad tastein my mouth, and I haven't even eaten them....

Monday, September 10, 2012

Monday Meh: Now where was I?

Head of a Woman,  Albrecht Durer (via Wikipaintings)

Matters at home have been demanding my time and energy these past few weeks, and then of course, that muse of mine stubbornly remains on vacation. I have, however, managed to initiate a job search but don't expect a response from my first query. Unless, that is, my prospective employers can overlook the fact that I managed to misspell their name in my cover letter......

Sometimes I am my own worst enemeh.

UPDATE:  I got a e-mail inviting me to interview for the position! Stay tuned...

Friday, August 10, 2012

Funky Friday, Put Down That Blade edition

Even though our band of the day, The Beards, argues that everyone needs a beard, it seems that, in the United States, at least, politicians do not. At least according to this article.

I say, 100 years is long enough to go without whiskers in the White House.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Monday Meh, Making Hay edition

Even haymakers have to take a break, as the above work from Gainsborough shows. I really need a break, but I would rather save my vacation time for when my boss returns from his 3-week vacation. Somehow in my weary mind, that is analogous to making hay while the sun shines. Or while the cat's away. Or something like that....

Friday, August 3, 2012

Funky Friday, Wayback Edition

Don't you sometimes wish we had a WABAC Machine and could rewind ourselves back to 1972? Certainly, not everything was groovy 40 years ago, but even without my rose-colored granny glasses, for a good long while it looked like we were starting to figure out how to do things right.

WTF, people!?!?!?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wienerdog Wednesday, Olympics edition

 Waldi the Wienerdog was the mascot of the 1972 games.

(Source: here)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Meh, Riddle Edition

Q:  What's red & white and red & white...?

A: Me!

Intelliwench, here, with a severe case of BBQ thighs thanks to several hours spent yesterday on a relaxing float down the South Fork of the New (blissfully sans institute participants this time!). The outing was in celebration of the end of this summer's obligatory stint in charge of the overall well-being of 44 graduate students (ages 29 - 69) and the 7 faculty who taught them. This year's participants were a very self-sufficient bunch, much to my relief. Instead, it was the faculty, the facilities, and the Bluto-Blutarsky-wanna-be graduate assistant who challenged my patience and good humor, not to mention my psychic abilities -- things WILL go wrong, it's just a matter of knowing ahead of time how to most expediently address these "challenges" before the boss finds out and blows a fuse. 

Anyway, I'm taking today (mostly) off to sleep in, do laundry, redeem a massage gift certificate, and see if I remember how to blog. So far, so good. 

So, aside from the heat in my loins sunburned legs, today's not really so meh after all.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sunday, May 27, 2012

There's no place like home...

...except maybe Arkansas, which, like Tennessee, impressed me with its unexpected natural beauty:

and depressed me with its economic stats (although the state's per-capita income has risen to 44th in the country, up from 48th).  

 There were also signs during my visit that indicated I should perhaps have requested hazardous duty pay for this assignment:

Luckily for me, the worst that happened was an unexpected expansion of my waistline, due to the excellent lunch and dinner offerings at the lakeside compound where I spent the week.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Funky Friday, Did You See What Arkansaw? edition

Patient readers, I am still lurking in the corners of the blogosphere, waiting for my muse's mojo to return to from wherever it's been hiding. In the meantime, I have been blessed with the opportunity to travel to the nation's midsection next week, namely Russellville, Arkansas, for a work assignment. I can only hope that I encounter entertainment such as the above ....

Monday, April 23, 2012

reflecting on another year gone by

Once upon a time,
I dreamed of a fairytale life.
Older and wiser now,
I'll settle for a haiku.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wienerdog Wednesday, Nothin' Sadder than a Broken Wiener edition

So, yeah. Just when I thought that maybe no other shit was gonna hit the fan, my wiener got broken last Friday.

Scooter Pie has Inter-Vertebral Disc Disease (IVDD), the bane of many long-bodied, short-legged dogs. She has had several episodes since she was a "pup" of 7, but this time it's pretty severe. Initially I was afraid her hindquarters would be paralyzed, but she is slowly regaining stability in her rear.

As much as I love the critter, though, I wouldn't and couldn't pay over $1000 for surgery, especially for a 12-year old dog. So, the conservative therapy is steroids and pain meds and crate rest. Here Scooter is taking a break from the crate and watching a YouTube video of birds, since she hasn't been able to go outdoors and enjoy her birdwatching hobby.

Let's hope Ms. Pie has a swift and complete recovery! And if not complete, we can explore the possibility of getting her her very own Wienermobile:

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Glass Half Full . . .

. . . Bottle Half Empty !     

It's been one of those months - and then some. The most positive spin I've been able to put on all the crap I've been dealing with is "It could be worse."

And then, sure enough, it gets worse.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Monday Meh, Barking Up the Wrong Me Edition

This job thing is getting on my nerves...

Friday, February 10, 2012

funky, funky friday

Wow. Bubbaville has made the national news.

One of the incongruities that hits me, as an outsider in these parts, is the way these life-loving, God-fearing people can be SO FREAKING NASTY. Of course, as today's featured song illustrates, these sorts of vile, violent, and senseless crimes have been going on for probably as long as humans have been around. And I suddenly remember that not so long ago, in my own family up North, there occurred a family murder-suicide worthy of a murder ballad, too.

Wherever and whenever these events take place, the senselessness stuns us, draws us closer to our loved ones, and makes us grateful for each day we have together....

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Keeping Abreast of Things

Squashed Boobs
I have a left boob and a right boob, but unlike Congressional left and right boobs, mine present a united front (particularly when squashed into a sports bra). When it comes to achieving the greater good, my left and right boob team up and get results, neither one taking more or less credit for their accomplishments. Also unlike political boobs, mine know when it's appropriate to keep a low profile, and when it's expedient to stand out and make a statement. There is nothing worse than boobs that get the wrong kind of attention, at the wrong time. Politicians could learn a lot from my boobs.

This week the Florida Primary featured a prominent display of boobs. Candidate Santorum sagged badly in the polls leading up to the race, and despite claiming the moral high ground, fell flat with only 13% of the votes cast. Gingrich, considered by many to be the biggest boob in the race because of his inflated ego, only came in second place, giving primary winner Romney the media spotlight. Gingrich and his supporters were uplifted, however, when Romney's "I don't care about the very poor" remark popped out during a CNN interview. No wonder the spirits of moderate Republicans are drooping, as it seems no candidate can measure up to their expectations. But any boob should realize that there's no such thing as one-size-fits-all, and lacking a stand-out contender, the Republicans seem likely to come up empty-handed in November's election.

These boobs should sue Komen for infringement.
Media attention snapped momentarily from the presidential race to a matter close to the hearts of many Americans regardless of political affiliation - breast cancer awareness. It was revealed that the Susan D. Komen Foundation, under pressure from an anti-abortion group, unhooked its backing for Planned Parenthood, a major provider of health services to low income women. This is not the first time Komen's tactics have raised eyebrows  -- the group has also made headlines for seeking financial restitution against lesser-endowed advocacy groups who adopt Komen's "for the cure" tag in their own fundraising drives. Mixing politics and women's health issues leaves a bad taste in the mouths of those who've lost loved ones to breast cancer, so many considered it a victory when Komen later announced a reversal of its decision. Still others are glad that Komen's questionable financial and policy tactics were exposed, and hope to nip partisan quibbling over the issue in the bud. (Boobs are people, my friends!)

I'm sure there were lots of other boobs in the news this week, but for now I think I've milked this topic for all I can.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Weinerdog Wednesday, Crank it Up edition

One of the delights seen during my last trip to Boston in August -- a hurdy-gurdy player with his weinerdog! It was like having my cake and eating it and having a weinerdog and hurdy-gurdy player to share it with!

Monday, January 30, 2012

monday meh

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
                   -- Langston Hughes, "Dreams"

Photo snapped at a local antique shop; don't worry, gentle readers - the bird is not real.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Weinerdog Wednesday, Auld Lang Dog edition

This braw lad is kilted up, hoping a wee bit o' haggis finds its way to his doggie bowl on this Burns Night.

Scottish poet Robert Burns was born on January 25, 1759. His songs and poems celebrated the Scottish countryside, romantic ideals, equality, and the rights of the common man. Some of his verse is remarkably relevant today, such as these lines from "Ode on General Washington's Birthday" --

Here's freedom to them that would read!
Here's freedom to them that would write!
There's nane ever feared that the truth should be heard
But they wham the truth would indite!