Sunday, November 26, 2006

Yeah, We ARE Kicking Butt....

But We're Not Taking Any Names!

I'd like to state for the record that my family truly is KICK ARSE! Whenever we run or jog we tease each other with loud taunts of, "Hey, good thing you're kicking your own butt, so I won't have to!" Yes, for some unknown reason my clan has embraced a physical fitness regimen that includes a swift healthy kick to the rear end with every part of their running gait. Sometimes my kids call out to me while sprinting through the house, "Mom, look at me, I'm kicking my own butt." Then they'll pick up speed and announce triumphantly, "Look, I'm kicking my butt even harder now." I get such a kick out of that!

My bosom doth swell with matronly pride at the sight of my talented progeny. This must signify that I'm raising a houseful of pacifists since they're so intent on kicking their own butts they don't have time to kick other peoples butts.

While My Blog Gently Weeps

Listen up you feckless, evil, erectile dysfunction-impaired spammers. I don't know why you glommed onto this lame post from two and a half years ago but I'm putting the kibosh on it starting right now. Take your ridiculous filthy spam, layer it between some mayo and two slices of moldy bread, and CHOKE ON IT!!!!
I've come to know many of you fine fellow bloggers over the past year, and I have certain expectations of you to maintain an air of consistency. The dawning of a new day this morn startled me as I suspected that the world had stopped turning yesterday. Why? Because super bloggy friend No Cool Story did not produce a "Silly Saturday" entry, and I'm still mourning the loss of silliness. Without her my Saturday lacked that whimsical flavor I savor on a weekly basis.

Okay, here's the blogger lineup:
Jams O'Donnell of The Poor Mouth blog fame has his weekly "Carnival Of The Cats" Friday posts. You MUST click this picture showing the good and evil side of his kitty, Ted.

Radioactive Jam is legendary around these here parts for his terrifying "Friday Freakout!" specials.

Julie of Mental Tesserae participates in a "Thursday Thirteen", and her entries are usually the best.

Thoroughly Mormon Millie captivates a wide audience with her weekly "Quick Whats?"

Rhonda has recently implemented a weekly "What The Frick Wednesday?" feature.

Lianne regales us at the close of another long week with her "Week In Review."

Everybody has complied with their blogging duties this week except No Cool Story. Bring back the jive! Bring back the funk! Bring back the silliness! I'm starting to feel a strange sensation pulling me to read all of "War And Peace", and to rent Al Gore's global warming masterpiece, "An Inconvenient Truth." Only a massive influx of silliness can cure the faux intellectual symptoms welling up inside of me.

Friday, November 24, 2006

A Hair Raising Experience!

Today is the day that I barricade myself and my family into the house for our own protection. I make sure that the Twinkie supply is plentiful, and the toilet paper cabinet well stocked because I refuse to leave the safety of my home for any reason. Yes, its the day that ordinarily genteel persons turn into a pushing, grunting, ruthless horde and I don't have the killer instincts to compete with them.
Black Friday. The words that strike fear and dread into my heart after one particular experience a few years ago after which I swore that I would never again be the early bird that tries to get the worm amidst the shopping-crazed crowds. My sis-in-law and I bravely soldiered out to Toys R Us an hour before they opened on Black Friday to take advantage of some of their ad specials. What we found was an unruly mass of humanity representing every walk of life. Mostly, though, the crowd seemed comprised of a sea of mullet-headed people carrying their babies clad in nothing but a diaper. Yes, those kind of people that would bring a baby out in November without any clothes on. Well, the inbred redneck DNA apparently beats the crap out of my Germanic ancestry. Sure, we may have enjoyed a barbaric reputation of looting and pillaging, but we got nothing on Confederate flag-muscle shirt wearin, meshy-trucker cap sportin, Journey mullet-haired folks. Git R Done!
The checkout lines blurred together and when the manager tried to separate it to bring some order to the chaos, The Mullet Pack rebelled. Pushing, shouting, and hair pulling ensued. My sis-in-law and I narrowly escaped, our arms wrapped firmly around our prized Lego and Dancing Elmo loot as we scurried for the car.
Last year, Houston news showed video footage of a woman knocked down at Wal-Mart when the doors opened for business in the wee morning hours. Did someone stop and kindly help this felled lady up? NO! They pushed carts OVER her large carcass that laid there spread-eagle on the floor.
By the time you read this, the day known as Black Friday should be nearing a close. Tell me, are you of the adrenaline fueled hardy stock that can withstand throngs of avaricious people? Do you avoid Black Friday like the plague? What special deal does it take to entice you out to a store? What did you buy today? What's the very best Black Friday horror story that you've lived to tell the tale of?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanksgiving Peer Pressure

Will somebody please get that turkey some dressing???!!!??

I'm giving in, and adding to the litany of blogs that have dedicated their Thanksgiving post to counting their many blessings and giving thanks. Although, not an original thought, I'd like to write this the Infidel way. Lest anyone think that I've gotten too perky.
1. I'm grateful for my family. My children are such a joy to be around(most of the time), and contribute much happiness to my life. My Papi is the sexiest nerd Mexicano to ever cross the border, and we share a profound love of chalupas together.
2. Everyone in mi familia is relatively healthy. Although, NOT healthy, wealthy, and wise. We're working on it though.
3. All bloggy friends. You've brought a new perspective, and light into my life that I didn't have a year ago. Thanks for the laughs, the insults, the Marie Osmond obsessed craziness. I love it!
4. Having a roof over our heads, food in our bellies, clothes on our backs, and broadband Internet connection. The really important things in life.
5. The Gospel Restoration and the Church swayed me from following down the path of being a homeless white trash alcoholic. Now, I'm a bonafide non-alcoholic white trash family woman! Seriously, my life changed dramatically after taking the missionary discussions. It's scary for me to think about the way destiny might have unfolded without divine intervention.
6. Not to sound trite, but I'm eternally grateful for indoor plumbing. When I hear my Grandma spin tales of nights out on the family's Indiana farm, stumbling around in blizzard conditions to use the outhouse, it make me want to give a four flush salute to Mr. Crapper himself! With these new water conservation toilets, it usually does take four flushes just to do the job.
7. I have to work tomorrow. Thanksgiving is heavily touted as the biggest newspaper of the year for good reason. We have a behemoth seven part paper in the morning. SEVEN! However much I despise my job, it has provided for our family off and on throughout the years, and allowed me to stay home with our brood. I will keep repeating this mantra throughout the night as I nurse my hands that are cracked and bleeding from the cold, and I try to throw 700 newspapers cheerfully without bitterness in my heart.
8. Having a vehicle to transport us everywhere we want to go. I don't like to wait around, and public transportation would likely cause me to implode with anxiousness. When I want a box of Twinkies, I want them NOW, not when Metro bus lines decides that its convenient for them.
9. My blog. For releasing the inner thoughts and feelings trapped within me for 31 years. It's like Pandora's Box, and now that they're all out and floating freely, you can't stuff them back in. Special thanks to genius, Omar Phillips, who redesigned The Infidel, and made it a much smilier place to be.
10. Did I mention how great my kids are? I've learned to overlook the complete destruction of my house. I've put aside the occasional wicked thought of what my house would look like if they hadn't been born. I've overcome my perfectionistic control freakish ways, to relax enough to love them for who and what they are, little mini human beings going through the life process and learning new things. Just exactly like the rest of us.
Share your blessings here. Mostly, because it satisfies the nosy side of me.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Would You Give This Sandwich Its Own Website?

McDonald's did. Now introducing the limited time menu offer of the McRib sandwich, McDonald's answer to fast food barbecue. If that's the answer, then what exactly was the question? I shudder to think about it. I'll never forget my first time........with a McRib sandwich. They had just unveiled it back in 1984 or so, and my "try everything at least once" family decided to check it out while on the road during our exodus from Indiana down to the great southern hope of oil boom central, Houston, Texas. I saw many colors during that meal that I hope to never see again.

The boneless pork patty itself seemed an unpalatable shade of grey, with bright red sauce smothering the top of it. Immediately following the meal, my Mom and Uncle turned a sickly sort of pea green. They swore that they would never make it out of Kentucky alive, and we became intimately familiar with every Stuckey's (Pecan Log Paradise) roadside stand in the entire state. I said a small prayer of thanks that I ate a Happy Meal instead of the McRib. Even now, whenever the commercials start up at this time of year hawking the sandwich, my Mom crumples up with traumatic stomach cramping flashbacks.

Now, I haven't actually looked at the
website because I'm deathly afraid of seeing dancing, and singing boneless pork sandwiches with huge googly eyes affixed to the front. Just the fact that something this revolting could command its own little piece of the web universe keeps me awake at night with terrifying visions of oinking boneless pigs being led to slaughter.

My thoughts on it? They should have a guy named Adam featured on their advertisements. He could extol the virtues of the McRib, and then end the commercial by saying, "All this delicious flavor packed into one sandwich, and nobody even had to lose a rib to create it." Maybe the followup will find Adam eyeing the sandwich hungrily, while rubbing his belly, and declaring, "Man, I'd give my left rib for one of those." Ha! I'm just ribbing you guys.

Clearly, I'm the next Samantha Stevens; witchy, and an amateur advertising architect with a twitchy nose.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Meet Saint Tamra

of the Our Lady Of Perpetual Laundry And Eternal Chocolate Chip Cookie Sanctuary!

See that face? The face of an angel, I tell you, and the sweet sister who introduced me to the world of homeschooling. She also put up with my endless blathering while assigned as my monthly visiting teacher. The patience of Jobe. Sadly, her only flaw is a profound lack of gossiping skills.

Anyway, not only does she raise seven children, yes, SEVEN, she one upped us in the Mormon family planning competition, but she also maintains a career as a talented published author. Do you have teen girls? Well, Tamra Norton and her Molly Mormon series, and her newer book, "Comfortable In My Own Genes" would make a superb Christmas gift. Located for purchase on her web site: Pimping good books is what I do best. Why, yes, I am wearing my crushed red velvet huggy bear suit and peacock feathered hat today. Why do you ask?

Her brand new, non LDS market novel for pre-teens is titled, "Make Me A Memory", and it follows the experiences of a young girl forced to move to Idaho with her family as her engineer father leaves for a tour of duty with the Army in Iraq. This book has garnered numerous honors including the selection of the month for Utah Literacy Awareness handpicked by Utah's First Lady, and a special grant written up for purchase and distribution of the book to all of the children left behind at Fort Hood while their parents are serving our country. Also, my oldest daughter has a blurb that she used on the press junket, and on the web site. Woot!

Her funniest moments take you by surprise with subtlety. For instance, every recipe submitted to our Ward Cookbook by her, is followed by this phrase, "Place cookies on CLEAN countertops to cool." After having six kids of my own, I now know why the emphasis must be placed on the words CLEAN countertops.

Well, she has now joined the blogging arena at bloggers mortal enemy, Live Journal. So, if you have a moment, or if you've read some of her books, drop by and tell them Large Marge sent ya. Wait, that was Pee Wee Herman. No, tell them your friendly neighborhood Infidel sent you.

Today's Romantic Moment Brought To You By...

Our new sponsor, Febreze air freshener and room deodorizer.
As you probably already know, I am all about the love. I'm just bursting forth with love, and a love to share that love with all whom I love.

Yesterday, my Papi and I had the blessed chance to enjoy a few rare moments of some sacred alone time in our boudoir. Just the two of us, without any long legged toddlers in our bed kicking us, or fighting us for our pillows. Never one to let a golden opportunity pass by, I provocatively posed for Papi by laying across the bed, a come hither expression upon my face. I strategically placed my hands on my hips, and had my fishy kissy lips all puckered up, and ready for action. Of course, the seductiveness of my glamorous
"Geek Squad" T-shirt coupled with the infamous monkey socks of yore, undoubtedly added to the passionate ambiance I was trying to create.

Papi moved closer to me, our fully clothed bodies NOT sweatily writhing around, nor was my voluptuous bosom heaving while he anxiously ripped open my bodice with frenzied fingers. Wait. Okay, I've only read one Harlequin Romance novel in my entire life, but it left a lasting impression on me. Papi did indeed move closer to me though, and then the primal growl started up within me. Yes, I needed to fart. Always one to fully embrace my natural side, but also ever so thoughtful and considerate, I gently leaned over and placed my hands over Papi's ears while I let the monstrous gas rip loudly, echoing throughout our bedroom chamber. I bravely shielded him from the deafening noise, but my generosity didn't stop there, oh no. Once, the awkward moment had passed, I then sweetly pinched my fingers around Papi's nostrils so that he wouldn't have to deal with the flatulence aftermath. Hear No Evil, Smell No Evil, is what I always say.

Obviously, filled with uncontrollable desire for me, Papi weakly said, "Girlie, you sure do know how to set the mood." And the skeptics claim that romance is dead. Pshaw!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Choose Ye This Day......

a better alias when you start your life over.
I got the golden ticket..........of bad names, anyway! Yes, Miss "Utah Burden" is alive and well, and selling real estate in Texas.

Now, Marie, I understand that your once glowing career has entered a rather lackluster stage. I know that Church people no longer feel that special Mormon connection with you since you went on Oprah, and refused to credit your faith for pulling you through hard times. You've recently been accused of attempting suicide, and your daughters are posing half naked on myspace. However, I'm sure that the entire Osmond family still loves you a lot. You'll always have the opportunity to guest on Hollywood Squares, and you even had a lunch box with your toothy smiled face plastered across it, so why unnecessarily flog yourself with a pseudonym like Utah Burden?

Come on everybody, big hugs for (((Marie)))!

Deja Vu

So, my much sought after Astro van is back in the limelight once again!

Remember this post from September detailing the steady flow of men knocking on our door in the hopes of making all their green dented mini van dreams come true? Well, it happened again last Saturday. Our neighbor has a maintenance guy repairing his house, and he sent the man over to look at our roof, and estimate the cost. He promised to return later in the afternoon, so when we heard the rapt tapping on the door, I assumed it must be the roofing guy. No. My oldest daughter excitedly yelled out, "It's somebody asking to buy our van again!" I glared at her and said, "Shut Up! It's just the roofing guy from next door."

I opened the door, and there stood an unassuming Hispanic man, nervously twisting the ends of his flannel shirt in his hands. In broken, halting English he asked me if our van was for sale. The kids,right behind me, and listening to every word, broke out in wild applause and began pumping their fists in the air while screaming, "I knew it! I knew it!" The poor guy just stood there with a confused smile, as I had to gently break his heart, and tell him that the van and I have a very special working relationship that no man could tear asunder.

I wonder if this happened to the owners of the now defunct Ford Pinto, or the Gremlin when production was halted? Doesn't everyone mourn the loss of highly combustible cars? Should I have stockpiled Astro vans for the great Chevrolet mini van drought of 2006? I'm off to consult with my Magic 8 Ball, who knows all, and sees all.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Why I Married My Papi

The myriad of reasons would exceed the allotted blogger memory space, but I can narrow it down to a few. Papi works relentlessly to build a better future for all of us. Juggling work, school, Church calling, Daddy duties, and ahem, "husbandly" interactions. The man is a machine. Do you think he maintains a sour disposition about his less than easy life? Never. Through it all, he keeps a smile on his face.

Yesterday, he dropped his cell phone into the pool.......again. Just six weeks ago, we had to shell out for a replacement phone when he dropped his into our neighborhood pool. This time the YMCA pool claimed Papi's sole means of communicating with us, his precious family. To say that I felt irritated is a mild understatement. I mean, we have Christmas coming up, my electrolysis savings fund, new monkey socks for the ongoing competition with Radioactive Jam, our Pancho's Mexican Buffet budget. You know, important stuff. The last thing we need is another cell phone expense.

I got all riled up, and ready to let loose a torrent of anger towards Papi, when he looked over at me, broadly smiled, and started shaking his booty, and sashaying all around the living room, singing in his sexy Spanish accent, "Ooops I did it again, I dropped my cell phone, my wife is so pissed. Oh baby, baby."

Sadly, Britney Spears own marriage didn't work out, but her crappy music continues to bring harmonious joy into marital relationships the world over. Oh, the many times I've yelled out, "Hit Me Baby One More Time!" Perhaps, that's a story for another day

This Is Dedicated To All The Bloggers I Love

Basement Jaxx- Hush Boy

This is the new Infidel jam of the week. Basement Jaxx is huge over in the U.K., but I haven't cared for any of their music.....until now. This song is the shiz personified, and has a little something in it for everybody on my blog link list.

I henceforth dedicate this video to:

Thoroughly Mormon Millie: The choreography is a direct simulation of The Waiter's Gallop in America's favorite musical, "Hello Dolly!" From the looks of the singer, she is the lady with the biggest appetite in all of New York!

Psychic Head and Mullets- Because they love all things Basement Jaxx.

Radioactive Jam and GLO- To break your worrisome Veronica addiction.

NCS- The lyrics say that they go to a MEXICAN restaurant on their date, and she eats a chicken fajita. Ijole!

jams o'donnell- Ummmm, because Basement Jaxx are fellow Londoners? Also, modern science has proven this song to be 85.2195% more danceable than all the Hawkwind, and Robyn Hitchcock anthologies combined.

A Payne and carronin- This is the sound that all Hot Fruita Moms will be tuned into this season.

mimo- There's no finer photography session music than this song. Well, not when working with babies, but maybe, when you advance to photographing supermodels.

elizabeth- Analyze this and analyze that too!

Omar- Because your Boot Scootin Boogie knowledge concerned me.

carrot jello- You must listen to this music so that you may gestate a future Soul Train dancer.

on the run, emma jo, and Rhonda- Prove that Houstonians are much more than just big hair, and redneck banjo tunes.

To everybody else not mentioned by name, try it, you'll like it. Go on. Retro funky, 70's style, groovealicious music is good for you, and may even clear up that case of persistent chronic dorky dance move syndrome you have. Don't be afraid to try new things, grasshopper.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Where The Dogs Of Society Howl

I have some very exciting news to share with all of you! Trying to start college funds for six kids has proved an arduous task, but unexpectedly they've all received membership into a very elite secret society which should pave their way into a life of relative grandeur and maybe into the position as President of the greatest country on God's green earth, one day.

Yes, my babies have achieved the same status as Senator John Kerry, President Taft, and both President George Bushes'. They now enjoy the exclusionary prestige of membering in the infamous Skull And Bones Society, and may now look down haughtily upon all of you common "barbarians." Perhaps I shouldn't reveal the details due to the super shrouded nature of the organization, but I just couldn't wait to brag about our family's accomplishment. One bite of the jelly Jolly Rogers pictured here, sealed their fate.

Don't feel jealous that my spawn will undoubtedly be hobknobbing with the rich, famous, politically corrupt, and morally bankrupt. You had your chance to join the Skull And Bones Society too, you know. Instead, you chose to turn up your nose at that display of 75% off gummy eyeballs, and leftover Halloween wax vampire teeth. We seized the day, we carpe diemed to the max, and bought our way into a secret society. Yeah! Next year, shop the clearance aisle earlier to secure your children a place among the upper echelons like us.

Monday, November 13, 2006

You Say I'm WEIRD, Like That's A Bad Thing

Super happy bloggy friend, No Cool Story, tagged me for a "Really, You're Not WEIRD" MEME, awhile back, and I discovered that my odd little idiosyncrasies may not all fit into a neat little column of ten.

1. It grosses me out to see parents kissing their kids on the lips. We always kiss our kids on their face cheeks (I felt the need to clarify), and they reciprocate in same.

2. When we drive past dogs in the street, I can't help but scream out the window to them, "Wassup Dawgs???!!!??"

3. After hours of practice, I can move my boobs like Shakira. No, I didn't let my kids watch that sultry video, but every time we've ever seen her perform in live concert clips, she rotates her bosom in a clockwise pattern while staring down at them. It's freaky, and now I can do it too, much to the amusement and dismay of my daughters. Now, if I could lose a bunch of weight, and sing like a bleating goat, maybe I can be a superstar like her too. Bring on the black body oil, it's time to get greazy!

4. I cannot be responsible for cringing and not feigning enthusiasm at the crappy baby name you have selected to curse, um, I mean "bless" your child with. Little Sparkle'Lynn Nikole, and the so tastefully named Aryan Justice(posing without baby's first white hooded robe), and the others I've seen like Nevaeh(Heaven spelled backwards. Barf.), and Million'z A Dolla'z (site now password protected), won't have a shot at a decent life because they'll inevitably be judged upfront based on their illiterate, and offensive names.

5. I obsessively count the number of letters in words. I'll run words through my mind all day, mentally counting the letters, and making additional notes for the number of vowels. Maybe elizabeth can tell me why I do that?

6. I don't care for anti-American Americans. Like my little talk show friend, Larry Elder always says, "Pick a better country, and move there!"

7. You know how some people feel an immediate attraction to another person just by looking at their eyes, butt, bank statement, whatever? I love big noses, and I cannot lie! I once dated a guy just because he looked like disgraced former Governor, Michael Dukakis with bushy eyebrows, and everything. They can't be smushy noses either, and crooked bump noses need not apply. The noses have to be of a classic Roman style, just like my Papi's. Black hair is also a plus.

8. Whenever I spy beans on sale at the store I excitedly tell my kids, "You can never have too many friends or too many beans!" Then I usually add, "But if you eat too many beans, you won't have too many friends." Oh, how my children love to go grocery shopping with me!

9. I'm named after a Barry Manilow song. That's right, so the next time you hear "Could It Be Magic", and Barry croons tenderly, "Sweet Melissa, angel of my lifetime", just think of me. Don't you even pretend that you don't own any Barry CD's, you big, fat liars! I know every single stinkin word to "Copacabana", and I'm not ashamed about it either. Alas, I don't wear yellow feathers in my hair, neither a dress cut down to there.

10. I'm just like No Cool Story in that I have to have my hot foods HOT, not lukewarm. Comestibles also must stay in their separate little places on my plate. I actually bought a set of divided plates just for that purpose, so that try as it may, the gravy cannot sneak across the border and invade the small but happy land of the green peas. I'll go one further though, I have to scrutinize every bite I take. You may start singing that Police song now, "Every bite I take, every burp I make, I'll be watching you." I don't know how people can stare at the T.V., or read the paper while eating. NO! I must look at my food. I don't like lip smackin people, neither finger lickin good people. I don't care what the Colonel says, licking your fingers is nasty, so don't make me beat you with my family pack of napkins from Sam's Club, okay? Let's lump inconsiderate cows who crack their gum into the mix too, shall we? Sometimes I think there's a conspiratorial plot afoot to drive me crazy, because everytime I'm in line or stuck in a waiting room, a gum cracker will stand right next to me. God, grant me the strength to accept the things I cannot change.

Added Bonus: I still slide through the house while wearing socks ala Tom Cruise, except I'm fully clothed and not prancing around in my underwear.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

House Of Dark, House Of Light

I know that WOO WOO WEEK largely included the freaky happenings at my former abode, but WOO WOO is about more than just goosebumps, and scariness, there's a positive to it as well. Kind of like a little yin and yang WOO WOO Universe.

As a teenager, I knew better than to have guys in my room. One evening, while my boyfriend stealthily moved in for the kill, I glanced up and saw an angelic figure standing in the doorway, looking forlorn. The man seemed aglow in luminescent white robes, and our eyes met for a mere second, before he disappeared. I kicked out the loser boyfriend, and immediately felt repentant.

Twelve years ago, my Mom found herself embroiled in a horrific custody battle with my ex-stepfather, the father of my then 11 year old brother. They had divorced years before, and my stepdad took off for Florida in an attempt to isolate my brother, and as we discovered later, to abuse him. It wasn't enough for Child Protective Services that the man ran in a circle of convicted pedophile friends, since he, himself, had no criminal record. When Joel came for a visit, my mom decided that she would never let him go, and she sought help from CPS, and relinquished him to their custody. An investigation ensued, and my former stepdad claimed that my mom never even tried to see Joel for all those years, which was blatantly untrue. My mother defensively told them how she purchased plane tickets, and then my stepdad would refuse to put Joel on the plane. Skeptical, one of the attorneys asked to see the plane ticket receipts. My mom holds the record as the world's worst record keeper, and she knew that producing such documents would constitute a near impossibility. Defeated, frustrated, and sobbing she went home to pilfer through her antique rolltop desk to try and find any shred of evidence to back up her story. When she arrived home, and opened the desk, there lied an entire stack of papers, neatly compilated into a little pile, and held together with paper clips. Every single plane ticket receipt mysteriously accounted for. Another oddity stemmed from the social worker assigned to the case. After hearing the long, and very sordid story of all that had happened to Joel, she promised my mom that even though she just started the job on that very day, she would literally move "heaven and earth" to ensure the safety of my brother, and that he would never return with his father. She worked countless hours, and things miraculously fell into place. The day after Joel's father was denied custody, and CPS opened a formal criminal investigation into his dealings, my mom returned to the office to thank the case worker, Judy. The other ladies informed her that Judy just abruptly left the day before, and they had no idea where she went, or even where she came from. Judy just saw that all was resolved with Joel's case before disappearing into the ether.

People always ask how we could live in a house that had so many creepy, abnormal things going on, but we never felt threatened in any way. Scared half to death occasionally, yes, but not in imminent danger. You just get complacent, and live your life, until the next even occurs, that is.....

Mirror Image

As an only child, whose parents divorced after a scant few years of marriage, I spent an extraordinate amount of time at home alone, playing by myself. No, I didn't say playing with myself, sicko.

So, around the age of 4, my mom became concerned as it seemed I developed an unnatural fixation with the attached mirror on my bureau drawers. She told me that she would stroll past my room, and was startled to hear me engaged in long, drawn out conversations while staring blankly into the glass. At first, she just blew it off, but then she noticed that I stayed awake late into the night talking to some unseen girl named "Rebecca." Things progressed over time to the point where I'd squander hours just conversing with my mirror. Worried, my mom started listening in, and told me that I spoke and laughed with "Rebecca" as though she were a real person.

Beyond freaked, my mom tried to lessen the time spent in my quarters. A couple years went by, and assuming that a change of locale would halt my behavior, we moved. It didn't change anything, and my mother finally decided to throw out the mirror with the curbside trash the night she walked past my room, and heard another voice speaking back to me.

True story.

Friday, November 10, 2006

The Sincerest Form Of Flattery

The Final Showdown: Syar Feet vs. Infidel Feet Part IV

I just wanted to let you guys know that attempting to assume another persons identity isn't nearly the simple task that movies portray. For me, it was literally, no small FEAT. (Bad Pun!)

Some of you may remember how I became a Malaysian teenage super blogger on Halloween. I've decided to relinquish her good name, mainly because I got rejected for all the credit cards I applied for using the name of "Syar." I tried and failed to supplant her here in the blogosphere, and I blame it all on my spindly E.T. finger-like toes that can never hope to compare to the robust fullness of Syar's little piggies. I mean, just look at the side by side comparison for evidence of that. It's obvious that Syar has engaged in toe "augmentation" surgery to plump those beauties up. Either that, or she's guilty of stuffing to make it look like she's got more than she really has. Alas, whatever the reason, people just couldn't be fooled by my cheap imitation of her. Duncan McLeod of the Highlander clan McLeod was correct, "In the end, there can be only ONE."

By the way, why is it such an oddity to others for a grown woman to strip off her shoes, and then put on rainbow striped socks, in order to snap pictures of her own feet while standing on sample floor tiles in the middle of Home Depot? Customers stopped in their tracks to watch, and my daughter Monkey had to usher them away with a wave of her hand, telling them, "There's nothing to see here, people. Just a lady taking pictures of her socks in the middle of the aisle. Move along now.".

Thursday, November 09, 2006


I'm not really a country music fan, but Mr. Travis Tritt seems to have recorded the most apt theme song for my Mom and I, "T-R-O-U-B-L-E."

Back in my younger and decidedly more feisty days, I used to pull some really immature shenanigans. Not the least of which involved insubordination in the workplace, rendering my unscrupulous employer, a very irritated man. He didn't fire me, because he knew the job sucked, and that he'd have a hard time finding a replacement due to his certified cheating pig status. He also happened to know my Mommy Dearest from many years past. After one particular incident, where I innocently tried to cajole fellow employees into joining me in a mutinous battle to fight for more compensation for our heavier work load during the holiday season, my boss lividly screamed in my face, "You and your Mom both, are nothing but a couple of troublemakers." I still wear that like a shiny troublemaking badge of honor! My Mom and I should have long ago reached our "older and wiser" phase, but we both trotted out our worst behaviour during this latest election cycle.

My Mom's best friend is a flaming liberal, so extreme that she's the kind to make threats about Presidential assassination. Dear old Mom has to gently remind this clueless creature to shut her loud mouth in public, or they'll both end up getting a body cavity search by men in black. Most likely they won't be felt up by smokin hot agents that look like Will Smith either. Knowing full well that her friends straight ticket Democratic vote would cancel out her own straight Republican ballot (except KINKY!), my Mom exaggeratedly told her friend about how the lines had gotten so long for the polling booths that people were spilling out onto the sidewalks, and snaking around the building. My Mom just went on and on about what a hassle it is to vote, and that her friend should just forget about it since it would make her late for work. I guess the force of civic duty just isn't strong within my mother's friend, because solely based on someone else's word, she gave up, and resigned her chance to make her voice heard. Republicans largely swept our district. I suppose the ACLU is going to investigate my Mom now for "disenfranchising" a local voter.

One of my Houston Chronicle customers lives in a "la di da" gated community, and she recently ran and won a Texas State Representative Seat for our district. Sadly, she didn't orchestrate a clean campaign, and our local community newspaper busted her last week. They ran a scathing front page story showing her campaign workers stealing the opponent's signs. Everybody receives the community newspaper since it's free, and non-subscriber based, with the exception of gated areas. I'm so very wicked, because I know the gate codes. I had some extra community newspapers left over from my route, and then I willfully made sure to throw every single one of this lady's neighbors the newspaper headlining her cheating exploits in big, scarlet letters. Yes, it took additional time, and energy out of my day, but imagining this politico chick staring down at herself featured in a scandalous story, and knowing that all her society "peeps" would see it too, felt immensely satisfying.

My T-R-O-U-B-L-E making days have begun anew. YEE HAW!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

No Kinky In Texas

We interrupt Woo Woo Week to bring you the following Election Day Special.
" 1 to the 2, to the 2, to the 3, and baby, do you wanna get KINKY with me?" The answer to that seemed to be a resounding, NO! It's official, the Kinkster couldn't work out the campaign kinks to cinch up an election victory.

I done did it. Yesterday, I voted for the very first Jewish cowboy to ever make an appearance in the hotly contested Texas Gubernatorial race. Yes, that would be the perpetually black Stetson hatted, Mr. Kinky Friedman, but minus his merry band of Texas Jew Boys. What did he have to offer me, an ardent lifelong conservative? His readiness to admit a fair amount of ignorance in state affairs, and his plan to surround himself with the best and the brightest among advisers. Then, he threw in the magical word, "HONEST." Kinky wanted to recruit only the most honest people to work for him and the state. He also wanted to shut down plans for the NAFTA Super Highway that will open a non-stop corridor from Texas to Mexico for foreign semi-trucks to bring in whatever they please to the United States without any of our pesky inspections. Drugs, contraband, smuggling illegal aliens, it's all bueno for incumbent Governor Rick Perry who authorized the deal, and undoubtedly received a little dinero on the side. A "conservative" Republican selling Texas down the drain. Crap! I better start working on my Mexican Hat Dance moves now, and ordering my entire family some brightly colored woven ponchos to match our sombreros. Repeat after me Texans, "Viva Mexico!"

Some facts about Kinky: His group recorded the first and only country song about the Holocaust entitled, "Ride Em' Jewboy", and his biggest musical hits came from the classic ditty "They Ain't Making Jews Like Jesus Anymore", and everyone's favorite (right jams?) "Get Your Biscuits In The Oven And Your Buns In Bed." Think of a countrified version of Weird Al, and add some decent messages to the music, and you have Kinky.

Kinky's a prolific author, having written many books including, "The Love Song Of J. Edgar Hoover." Manly fishnet stockings and high heels not included with book purchase.

He runs an animal sanctuary for abused, stray, and aging animals in Kerrville, Texas. Keith Richards is very much looking forward to retiring to Kinky's Ranch in a few years. Aging party animals, aging animals, whatever....diversity is beautiful!

Kinky produces his very own line of SALSA with his squinty-eyed countenance plastered all across the front of the jar. I've sampled KINKY SAUCE for myself, thanks to a blowout clearance at Kroger's, and found the flavor and zest surprisingly delicious. Preferable on matzo crackers and bagel chips though, of course. Salsa making prowess is the bellwether by which I judge all political candidates. If you ain't saucy, then you ain't winning my vote.

I desperately wanted people to get KINKY with me. My family of staunch Republicans did. My neighbors did. Rick Perry only won with a paltry %38 percent of the vote, so he has to know that people are sick of his crappy cronyism ways. On a positive note, he does have really nice feathered hair, so looking at him in all his photo ops isn't as painful as other candidates. At least now I'll finally realize the opportunity to imperiously inform people complaining about Texas's downward spiral that, "Don't blame me, I just wanted to get KINKY."

Monday, November 06, 2006

Conclusive Scientific Studies Show....

that cotton knit blankets, while snugly comfortable, provide a pathetically poor armor of defense against evil shadow apparitions.
I didn't have the heart to post the picture of the actual red eyed shadow figure that stalked and terrorized my poor Papi during his adolescence, but this cat eye contact lense is freaky enough. I mean, who outside of Marilyn Manson buys those things?

As a continuation of WOO WOO WEEK, we take you deep into the heart of Mexico, to the outlying mountainous suburbs of Mexico City where Papi grew up in a hard scrabble life without even one Taco Bell restaurant near by. Papi is/was/always will be a skeptical man. He's the Scully to my Mulder, attributing ghost stories to nothing more than hiccups of time and energy recorded and played over and over again. He discounts contacting "spirits", and the spirits who communicate back, along with aliens and U.F.O's as just further trickery of the Devil to confuse mankind and lead them astray from God. To some extent, I believe that theory. But Papi's very own terrifying encounter with a faceless, red eyed entity, makes me wonder how he can still believe that too.

In our faith, the young males who attain the age of 12 are then interviewed and deemed worthy or not of receiving the Priesthood. It's a pivotal stage in the life of a Church member, and Papi dutifully prepared himself for this event since the time of his early youth. His Grandmother, diagnosed with terminal cancer, came to live with the family, thus forcing Papi to give up his room, and share his sisters' bedroom.

As he lay sleeping one night shortly before his twelfth birthday, Papi awoke suddenly, and looked towards the open door. There stood something unrecognizable, cloaked in blackness, and staring back at Papi with piercing red eyes. Papi quickly pulled his blanket up over his head, refusing to acknowledge the presence that just barged into his room. While his sisters still slumbered on, the creature commenced to exerting a crushing pressure on Papi's body so that he could barely breathe. Even through the blanket, Papi could see the same crimson eyes meeting his. Papi started praying audibly, but in a small whisper, so as not to frighten his sleeping sisters. As he invoked the name of Jesus Christ in his prayer, the weight abruptly lifted. When Papi felt courageous enough to poke his head out from under his blanketed refuge, he saw not a trace of his attacker. Personally, K.C. And The Sunshine Band is my designated "Boogie Man." I guess Papi got assigned to someone less disco groovy, and far out.

Papi scoffs, and ridicules me for the stories I tell him revolving around our old house, but he neglected to reveal what happened to him until we had been in marital utopia (YES, that's right, marital UTOPIA!) almost 6 years. I sat in stunned amazement as the man who makes fun of everything and everybody took on a serious tone, and conferred that the entity visited him several more times to the day he actually received the Priesthood, then all activity ceased. That is, until, he readied himself to serve a mission at 18. The red eyed shadow figure returned oncemore shortly before Papi left, and each time Papi simply invoked the name of Jesus in prayer, and it thankfully disappeared. He never told his sisters anything about it.

A couple of years ago, while engaged in conversation with his sister, Coco, I mentioned the incident, and how odd that her and her sister slept through the attacks every time. Perturbed, Coco turned to me and quietly said, "The same thing happened to me repeatedly, but I never told anybody about it either."


Sunday, November 05, 2006

This One Puts the PAIN In Painting

The bleak painting of an old farmhouse above, is eerily similar to the blue framed picture that used to hang unsurreptitiously at the top of our staircase landing. I'm no art aficionado, but something about the picture always creeped me out. Turns out, it was for a good reason.

My Mom uneventfully purchased it at a neighborhood garage sale, and she always claimed that she considered it "butt ugly", and a little freaky too. So, why did she buy it? My Mom told me that she felt drawn to it, and almost forced into scooping up the hideous painting, and taking it home with her. It didn't match any of the navy blue, aquatic themed decor my Mom had implemented throughout the house, so she painted the wooden frame a deep azure shade in an attempt to have it blend in better. It didn't, and would glare down at us all day from the upstairs hallway.

One night, bleary eyed from a full day of work and school, I began to trudge up the stairs for bed, when I noticed that the painting had an odd glow about it. The light wasn't flipped on in the hallway, so the illumination emanating from around the picture really stood out. As I neared it, I could see that the light was pouring out of the farmhouse windows in the painting, and it began to flicker. Everyone in the house had already gone to sleep, and so I kept to silently screaming within myself, and I elected to sleep on the sofa that night rather than down the hall from the haunted painting.

It didn't happen frequently, but the painting continued to light up periodically, sending shivers down my spine. One day, my Mom asked me if I had ever noticed anything "strange" or unsettling about the picture. Well, it seems as though, my stepdad, my Mother, and I all witnessed the same thing. Now, for the really weird part, my Mom still has the picture in her new house! She told me that she keeps it in the guest bedroom closet, but she just can't seem to bring herself to get rid of it.

Other people in our subdivision experienced problems with their pictures too. My brother's baseball coach is a Houston Police Officer, and he also works part time patrolling the area in his off hours. He reported that at his home and the homes of his neighbors on the street, it wasn't unusual for them to return to their domiciles in the evening to find their family pictures either strewn all over the floor face down on the carpet, or hanging helter skelter upside down. This continually happened even though nobody was present in the house all day long. It's not easily explainable, but pictures have long been considered dimensional gateways and sometimes ghostly portals. Makes you want to run out and read The Portrait Of Dorian Gray again, doesn't it?

Friday, November 03, 2006

Mr. Roger's Neighborhood It Ain't......

And my hackles raise at the thought of any of these people becoming my neighbors.
Ever speculate just from whence wicked comes? Apparently, where you least expect it. When you see ostentatious homes outfitted with lush landscaping, and the finest in decorating, does it spring images of "A little slice of Hell on Earth" to your mind? You'd be very surprised what evil lies hidden in the hearts and homes of men, shut away from public view.

The neighborhood we resided in has several divided sections. Us, living amongst the "poor folks" in the front, while the back of the subdivision featured a more exclusive estate development. This photo shows the home where my Mom witnessed the unexplainable and terrifying. As she careened her truck around the curve of the cul-de-sac in the very wee hours of the morning, she noticed that all the outside lights of the home, and also the street lights had gone dim, leaving things dark and shadowy. Undeterred, my Mom soldiered on until she saw that the curtains in the front windows had been flung back revealing a swarm of people hovering together in a candle flickering kitchen. The people all wore blood red hooded robes. Sensing that almost certainly something was wrong, my Mom hastened to drive away from that street. When, all of a sudden, the people burst through the front door and started chasing after her. On foot. I'm not sure how they thought they could catch a truck while running in their goofy floor length robes, but my Mom easily escaped. They have new residents living there now, but prior to their arrival, my Mom continued to see strange happenings all around this home.

My Mom took a part time newspaper route when my brother's disabilities prevented her from continuing on in her employment as an accountant. Not a glamorous job, to be sure, but it kept us in Hamburger Helper and name brand clothes stamped "Irregular" on the label. Around dusk, my Mother began throwing this route a short distance from our home. (Emma Jo, if you're reading this, this house is catty corner from The Rumsey's house! :O) She had just gotten started, when a fat, balding middle aged man came out of his house waving his arms and screaming hysterically at her. Of course, my Mom halted to find out the problem, something that she NEVER does anymore. The man commenced to yelling, and shrilly telling her in the most floweriest of prose and profanity, that he didn't want the *%!#@$ newspaper littering his property, and that he happened to be an exalted member in good standing with the Satanic Church. Yes, he identified himself as a Satanist right there, in front of his home, in middle class Houston, just half a mile from our Temple. Wouldn't you think he'd conjure up his powers to acquire a little plastic surgery, and gastric bypass, or join The Hair Club For Men? Stunned, my Mom opened her mouth to say something, but he prattled on, and informed her that if he EVER received another paper on the front lawn, he would place a curse upon her head. To this day, wide eyed people ask if he really did put some sort of hex on her, and she laughingly replies that he must have, because she still has to throw the stinkin paper in that neighborhood. Now, after this incident, my Mom started to take more notice of the goings on around this house. It wasn't unusual to see America's favorite Satanists holding big shindigs at their abode where every single late model vehicle parked against the curb came manufactured by Cadillac, Lexus, and Mercedes. It also wasn't unusual to glance inside the home during their soirees, and see the party goers black hooded robes.

Here's my rant: These are deceivingly regular folks living it up in suburbia, sending their kids to the local schools, and shopping amongst us at the corner grocery store. That really weirds me out. The thought crossed my mind of what it would feel like to party with these people.

Would the crimson hooded coven get together to work up a viable strategy plan to paddle the butts of the black hooded cult in the next "Hades Annual Ping-Pong Tournament?"

Do you think they serve Devil's Food cake, and lots of flambe stuff? Perhaps, they ruthlessly banished that one misguided cult member who brought Angel's Food cake to the party. I wonder if they've ever been tempted to slice up a little goat for dinner after roasting it in sacrifice? Or, maybe they prefer to eat a lot of Soul Food.

I can imagine two cloaked cult mothers discussing concern for their teenaged spawn because they only want to watch back to back marathons of "Touched By An Angel", and "Highway To Heaven." They shrug, and blame it on teenage rebellion. The same mothers sigh in resignation that their younger children want to dress up as Angels for Halloween, and go Christmas caroling with their friends.

Would all the invitations have cute little, red-faced diablos on them, inviting the recipient to "come and have a devilishly good time?" Everyone knows that bad puns signifies the deepest of evil.

Do they have a mix tape of all Led Zeppelin's music played backwards to liven up the festivities? Or do they just loop "Disco Inferno" endlessly? That really would be Hell. Summer parties bring nonstop "Limbo" party fun!

I wager there's at least one woman who peddles the exclusive "Bride Of Satan" cosmetics line, and she badgers all the other women into agreeing to come to her makeup trunk party where they can buy the latest in black lipstick, and ghostly white pancake facial powder. There's also always one annoyingly self-conscious woman who will spend the night asking people if her robe of death makes her butt look too big.

Inevitably, talk will turn to the big sale on pentagrams, yellow werewolf contact lenses, and sacrificial altars seen down at the local Purgatory Republic store.

Maybe they reminisce about failed incantations. "Hey Bob, remember when I misread the Book Of Spells, and shouted out "Amway" instead of "Away", and we ended up with a house full of living dead sales representatives trying to get us to buy cheap light bulbs? Ahhh, good times."

Things get confusing as the festivities wrap up and the parents try rounding up their kids, since most of them share the names of Damian, Damon, or Lucy.

A word to the wise; Listen to the admonition given to you by the fine, moral characters on Sesame Street, and find out just who are the people in your neighborhood, in your neighborhood, in your neighborhood. Because, Satan worshippers are people in your neighborhood, in your neighborhood, YES, in your neighborhood.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Day I Tore Up My Lifetime Mickey Mouse Club Membership

The absolute most bloodcurdling, spine-tingling incident to transpire in our house came via the seemingly innocent and familiar face of this Talking Mickey Mouse doll manufactured by Worlds Of Wonder. Remember Worlds Of Wonder in the 80's, the makers of Teddy Ruxpin? "Come on boys and girls, sing along now." This Mickey Mouse had the same prototype features as Teddy with a mechanical mouth that moved along with the storytime cassette placed in the back, eyes that rolled to and fro like a Felix the Cat clock, and Mickey's trademarked voice. We all found the "Disco Mickey Mouse" incarnation of the 70's a little unnerving, but courtesy of Talking Mickey Mouse, they now call me the anti-Mouseketeer. I wear my red beanie cap with the ears turned upside down!

My brother, Brendon, largely ignored the expensive Christmas toy, and though the doll would just appear in various places throughout the house, we never took much notice of it. My Great-Grandmother died of Alzheimer's complications in the game room of our home after we set it up for her Hospice care. After her passing, the creepiness level intensified.

One sunshiney day, I came home from school to find the house empty, without any notes detailing chores. I love that! So, I prepared to spend the afternoon plopped down on my arse watching the forbidden wonders of MTV, and drinking Coke in the living room despite my Mom frowning upon such behaviour. The ever present Talking Mickey Mouse had found its way to the sofa end table. Immersed in the television, I didn't notice anything peculiar until I got up to make a foray to the kitchen. When I strolled back out of the kitchen, I had to pass the end table, and that's when something caught my eye. The dormant doll had sprung to life without any prompting or button pushing. Frighteningly, at that very moment, its eyes transfixed upon me, and it started mouthing incoherent things. I shrugged my startled nervousness aside and moved in closer to shut it off. The oval eyes began shifting back and forth, and it continued mumbling things in a low voice that I couldn't understand, so I assumed the batteries must be losing charge. I picked it up and turned it over to switch it off, only to discover that there wasn't a cassette tape placed in the back of the doll. I thought it seemed odd that it kept rambling on without any cassette in it, but chalked it up to a cross circuited internal glitch. I looked for the power toggle, when the realization hit me that I was staring down into a completely barren battery compartment. My brother had long since broken the plastic battery cover, and I could see directly into the well where the batteries should have been.

I shrieked, and threw the possessed doll across the room, and then did the stupidest thing ever........I ran upstairs and locked the door to my room. Yes, if I'm ever cast in a horror movie, I'll be the first to die, because everybody knows that the biggest mistake is to go upstairs. I eyed the window that led out onto the roof, and decided that if Mickey Mouse ascended the staircase, I would jump to safety. I sat there, too scared to move for nearly an hour, my poor heart about to burst, and listening for the telltale movements of a wicked talking doll crawling its way to me. I instantly felt sorry for ever watching the movie, "Child's Play" that involved Chuckie the killer doll, because it brought about all sorts of ghastly scenarios to my mind.

My Mom made it home, and only then did I feel safe to come downstairs and see the wretched doll, not crumpled in a corner like it should have been, but sitting upright on the end table as though nothing happened. I frantically told my Mom everything, half expecting for her to tease my "all knowing" teenage self, but she didn't. Instead, she told me that the Mickey Mouse doll had done the same thing to her in the next room, where my Great-Grandmother died. She too, noticed the empty battery pack, and missing tape, but attributed it to nerves and depression since losing my Grandma. My stepdad called her "LOCO" when she told him about it, so she decided that her mind must have deceived her.

Eager to rid ourselves of M-I-C-K-E-Y, my Mom elected to send it up with Brendon to his paternal grandparents home out in the country since he spent a considerable amount of time up there. Largely forgotten, years passed by, and my Mom ventured upstairs at the country home. There, at the top of the landing sat the Mickey Mouse doll. My Mom walked by it to retrieve something from the room, when the familiar started up.......Talking Mickey Mouse began his low voiced mumble anew, scaring my Mom, and prompting her to scream with terror. When investigated later by my stepdad, it was once again revealed that the doll remained without any batteries.