Archive for April, 2009

Swine Flu Fever

I accomplished next to nothing today, and for that, I have no one but Swine Flu, A.K.A. Mexican Flu. A.K.A. H1N1 A.K.A. Mad Pig Disease, to blame.

Yep, I caught Swine Flu Fever -or SF squared as my hip mind is compelled to call it-and now I can’t stop checking the latest toll. the CDC and the  WHO may have the most factual info, but the networks have the most exciting and  frightening presentation.

I actually woke up this morning and did something I’ve never done before-go right to the TV set to check out the latest stats. My SF squared would not be denied.

I learned that someone who calls herself “Dr. Nancy” likes BBQ pork from certain street corner vendors in New York, and stuffs her face with it in front of tens of millions of people just to show you can’t get Swine flu from eating the little buggers all chopped up with delectable sauce.

I also learned how to cough into my elbow instead of my hand, use tissues to sneeze instead of my hand, wash my hands with my hands, and stay home from work or school when I’m sick. And to keep tuning in as the death and non-death toll mounts and people get voted off for life.  It’s sort of like watching American Idol, only with the whole world competing.

I feel left out becuase I don’t have the actual flu yet. I want to be one of the early adopters, those ultra kewl cognoscenti who do stuff way before the rest of us. With my luck, I’ll be the last person on early to get it. Literally.

Another little bastard I still don’t trust.

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April 30, 2009 at 6:13 pm Leave a comment

Animal Farm Revisited

I’m totally panicked about Swine Flu. I have 100 lbs. of Nature’s Recipe Lamb and Rice Senior waiting for my husband and I after I kill Jingo so we can drink her blood. And those N-95 respirator masks disappearing from retail and internet stores? Already have ’em-any self-respecting hypochondriac would.

At the same time, I’m laughing at the inbred paranoia of your average pussified American who sits in front of her computer waiting for the latest RSS feed from the CDC or going out of her way to look up terrifying images of infected human-pig clones running to our country as fast as their little hooves can take them.

I knew there was something weird about Pigs-being so delicious and as intelligent as humans and all.

Look at the way they look at us-even the cute little ones.

Those pug-nosed monsters know something we don’t. If we don’t nip this in the bud, they’ll start coming out of our stomachs.

P.S. Keep an eye on people who college pig figurines. If you visit someone and see anything like this in their home

RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!

April 27, 2009 at 1:13 pm Leave a comment

The least sexiest topic in the world-with breasts

I’ve wanted to talk about this for the past week, and frankly, it’s been taking up a lot of my time. But I don’t know anyone over legal age who isn’t being pulled under by a similar issue, so the time to talk is now.
The problem is, the topic is health care-and I don’t need to tell you how excruciating it is to hear someone’s else health problem. So I decided to substitute the world “nipple” for health insurance and “breast” for my particular prescription.
I went to pick up my breast at Walgreen’s the other day, and the pharmacist said I couldn’t have it because my nipple stopped covering my breast. I said, “No one told me that my breast isn’t covered, what are you talking about?” He replied, “There’s nothing I can do, your nipple keeps rejecting your breast. Perhaps you can order a substitute.”
I told her that there was no substitute for my breast, because I’ve tried several other breasts in the past, and they didn’t work-I ended up either throwing them out or giving them away.
I was really upset because I was almost out of breast and there was no way I could afford to pay for it on my own. So I went home and tried to get in touch with my nipple, but even after waiting on the phone for over an hour and talking to three different people, my nipple wouldn’t budge. Apparently, it changed the formulary and was now substituting my breast with a less expensive one.
So now I’m thinking of going down to Mexico for my breast, although my nipple told me that was an illegal and dangerous thing to do.
So I’m pleading with you, President Obama-fix the nipple problem now, before it grows larger and even more ugly.

April 20, 2009 at 3:29 pm Leave a comment

Intimate, and Only Quasi-Annoying, Movie

Yesterday I went to a movie for the first time since I walked out of 300 a few years ago, because it was played on some new type of screen that made me want to throw up. Thankfully, we were at a mall theater, so I left my husband in Spartan bliss while I went to American Eagle Outfitters and trolled the $5.00 basket for something wearable.
This time I met some friends at an art theater to see The Black Balloon, although I mistakingly called it The Red Balloon, which is about some kid who becomes friends with a red balloon but it’s destroyed by bullies and then a bunch of other red balloons show up and take the kid on a ride. It’s mute with attempted meaning in the way the French have down pat.
The Black Balloon is about a boy coming to terms with his autistic/ADD younger brother, while falling in love and dealing with the rest of his family. It’s an Australian film, so I hoped Russell Crowe would be in it, but instead I got Toni Collette, the only thing that makes The United States of Tara watchable.
The Aussies are grittier than Americans, and less tolerant of couching reality, so the Autistic kid was annoying and retarded 2/3 of the time, and charming and retarded only 1/3 of the time. We Americans love to show our cinematic retarded people as good-natured shamans, who force us to understand some essential truth about our own, non-retarded lives.
Yes, I know the difference between autistic and mentally retarded, and that the word retard is out of favor. Hell, I spent years in elementary school being called “retard,” which was actually a refreshing change from “Christ Killer.”
For the purposes of the move, the kid was called autistic, but he acted retarded and violent enough to be institutionalized. The he pulled some cute, relatable stunt, just enough so the audience would share an “awwww, you can’t take this kid away from his family,” moment. Then he acted violent again. That’s what I liked about this movie. That and the fact that the girl who played the older brother’s girlfriend was gorgeous, and the movie kept reminding us of that by shooting the kind of close-ups that implore us to count pores. It made me feel better to know that young, beautiful woman still have pores that beg to be squeezed.
It was the day after the movies’ premiere, a matinée with reduced admission.  Yet there were only about 15 people in the theater. It made me wonder how many people were taking this recession-cutting-back-on-spending-thing seriously But their spendthrift nature was my bonus gift, because I’m a personal-space lover and germaphobe. I got to experience the intimacy of being with strangers, without actually having to be near them.
But I did have to be near my friends, one of whom had constipation and missed the first ten minutes of the movie, and the other who brought a hummus lunch despite the reasonably priced pizza and panini served at the concession stand.
The movie was about a half hour too long, as most movies seem to be these days. But I liked the no-plot slice-of-life art movie thing, as much I was bored by it.
It was an atypical cold and rainy April day in the desert, and hanging out in a huge room in the dark with something big flickering on one wall had a certain appeal. Plus I could sort of relate to the retarded kid, what with my hyperactivity, low thrill threshold, and massive brattiness when I don’t get my way. All my friends knew it.  So much so that one friend called my husband and implored him to repeat one of the pivitol lines in the film, “can you say monkey?” to me when I called.
And in case you’re wondering-yes, I can say monkey-very well, thank you.

April 12, 2009 at 9:40 am Leave a comment

Passing over Passover

Last night was the first night of Passover, and the first time I didn’t observe it in years. Yeah, the old Jewish guilt made a opening act appearance, but the ephemeral guilt I felt was based more on feeling guilty for not feeling guilty.
Instead, I went to a video field production class at this public access joint downtown. When I signed up for it, I forgot it met on Passover. When I remembered, I experienced some wistfulness-no matzo ball soup, no gefilte fish, no brisket, no kugel, no ancient ritual of gratitude, no ‘hey, they tried to off us, but we showed them-we’re still here.” chosen people cockiness.
But for the first time in my life, I considered the options, made a decision, stuck with it, and moved on. What the hell was that about? I feel so empty without the agony of rumination. So boring without the spice of neurosis.
I decided instead to have some quasi-meaningful ritual of my own. So I spent a few minutes being thankful for things in my life, and lit a Yahrzeit Candle. A Yahrzeit candle is a memorial candle that’s supposed to be lit on the anniversary of the person’s death according to the Hebrew calender, and during Jewish holidays. (Notice I’m blowing off the hyperlinks today. While I understand they can be illuminating to non-Jews during this post, they can be irritating.)
So I lit a candle and thought of everyone in my life and the life of everyone I know who died. It started off pretty specifically with the deaths of those closest to me, and then became less meaningful, almost lame, when I got to the names of people I didn’t even know, i.e. “My friend Beth’s friend who died.”
Then I realized, “screw this” since I don’t think dead people you don’t even know care if you’re lighting a memorial candle for them, even when it’s done in the name of one of the white trash babies Nancy Grace gets an orgasm talking about.
So I dedicated the candle to the one person I lost this year who meant more to me than anyone else on my list-my dog Arby.

So here’s to you, Arby. I miss you and I’m taking good care of the Arby tree that I nourished with your ashes. I know you loved my brisket, so I hope you forgive me for not making any this year. Maybe this whole thing was about how Passover wouldn’t be the same without you.

April 9, 2009 at 12:32 pm Leave a comment

Quail Sculpture-Peck Art -and I’m practicing adding images and a crapload of hyperlinks!

My Quail block costs 23 bucks for a 30 lb. block, and they used to last about two months. Now I’m lucky if I get two weeks put of it. For those of you who don’t live in areas where quail conjugate, a quail block is a almost impenetrable block of birdseed-the equivalent of compressed rawhide.

But just as the increased density of the dog bone does little to increase its life and placate the “aggressive chewer,” the quail block gives the finger to the “man” part of “man vs. nature.”

It stands on a five-foot platform in my backyard-a structure built to protect it from the herds of living trash compactors called javalina, but apparently not from White-winged doves (i.e. pigeons, i.e. the cockroach of the desert,) and Curve-Billed thrashers and Gila Woodpeckers and every other bird that the indiscriminate Gamble’s Quail decide to invite over.

But I have to admit the results of this artistic gestalt are quite impressive. I don’t have any pics of a brand-new block, because I’m going to let the gang sell their own feathered asses to get seed for the next month, but after a few days it looks like the image above-sort of like an old adobe ruin.
But the work goes quickly, and the symbiosis is evident. If Darwin saw all the adaptation going on, he’d forget all about the Galapagos.

The quail, woodpeckers, and thrashers chisel right into this puppy, softening it up so the doves can flap in for the kill. Yes, I said puppy. As in, this masterpiece looks like a dog. Check it out-it’s sort of beagle-like, the nose and mouth are on the left side, a flappy ear on the right, and the comically short legs and bobbed tail are below. It’s like I have my own little Texas Canyon, or anywhere that weathered boulders resemble something familiar.

Then little by little, the Quail art fades, slips away like the proverbial seed in a block. Until the pile diminishes, and little is left but the crumbs of what once was. I always become sad and annoyed at these times-sad because the beauty is gone forever, and annoyed because it’s time to buy another 23 dollar, 30 pound quail block. I don’t have the heart to show you any less than this

April 5, 2009 at 3:52 pm Leave a comment


Roberta Gale

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