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Oh yes, behind…so very, very behind…

On so many levels. I refilled the window wiper fluid in my car and in doing so was forced into yet another confrontation with the mysterious black nursing bra that has been living in my car for the better part of a year now. And no, I still have not removed it.

I’m sure I’ll get around to it. Eventually. At the most embarrassing moment possible. The point is: don’t you worry your pretty little head over it.

Life has been pretty interesting as of late. I babysat a hedgehog who is as old in hedgehog years as Puppy Dog is in mastiff years, and yes, all under the same roof. Good times. Damn thing stuck me with quills so many times I was tempted to use her to clean the grout in my bathroom. But alas, sanity prevailed, and she is returned to her rightful owner, tiles sadly uncleaned.

I suspect I shall be homeless soon. My landlord wants to sell the house as soon as the lease is up (24 days). She doesn’t want to extend and I haven’t found a place to take me in. So if you find a redhead and her insanely old dog sleeping in your garage, shut the damn door! I’m sure it’s still cold out.

I’ve got four months to go here in Erie. The sentence is up and I am about to be paroled.

Yes, that is correct: PAROLED!

And why? Because I was accepted into a PhD program and am blowing this popsicle stand come August 1st! Yup, gonna see about becoming a doc-TAH! Penn State here I come! Hide your cats, whiskey, and loose change!

Four months feels like forever. But it should be just enough time to clear out the crap in my house, which will be easy, it’ll be tossed on the street with me and the pooch and stolen at this rate. But nonetheless, I shall enjoy enough of Erie summer weather to leave on what I am positive will be a sour note due to the annual Roar on the Shore, and all it’s smokey, loud, drunk-driving, obnoxiousness.

But I will be better at chronicling my nonsense in the meantime. It’s only fair. I’ve bitched so much about so much, why ruin a good thing?

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I was really pretty shocked to have read that Henry Louis Gates Jr., professor extraordinaire of long standing at the venerable institution Hahr-Vahrd, was arrested two days ago.

But I wasn’t shocked to have read the context and circumstances of his arrest. Sure, there’s the easy explanation of racism in America (you really will never convince me a white professor would have been treated the same way), but then there’s the even easier explanation that no one seems to be talking about and it is this: the arresting “officer” in the affair is yet another example of a douchebag cop with a Napoleon Complex.

Sure, I have no doubt the cop behaved in a racist manner, but that is an action coupled with a personality trait and that trait being that the he is yet another douchebag cop with a Napoleon Complex.

A professor here at school is a retired cop and relayed to me the different types of people who become police officers:

1. The Fitness Nut: the guy or gal who somehow relives their high school athletic glory days by being a cop. They are all about how they look in the uniform. Being a good or bad cop is strictly a matter of happenstance.

2. The Gun Nut: I think this speaks for itself. The Gun Nut, who is almost always male, is also closely related to the Penis Insecurity Nut.

3. The Righteous Nut: this person has an overwhelming sense of self-importance and truly thinks that the worse they behave towards the general public, the better cop they are.

4. The Drunk Cop: who is actually a pretty okay person who took the job as a way of redemption but at the same time, does not know how to handle the stress better.

Now according to Professor Cop, a police officer can actually be a combination of these varying traits but one is always more dominant than the other. Like the thing about Elvis and the Beatles: you can like both, but you always like one more than the other.

With regards to incident involving Professor Gates, my money is on Cop #3. Then again, I’m not at all familiar with the inner workings of cop-hood and the public perception I have garnered of them over the years is really just boils down to the simplicity of the douchebag cop with the Napoleon Complex scenario.

Emma over at Eriepressible tagged me for the Honest Scrap Award, to which I say danke schoen, Darling, danke schoen.

The Award and Rules:

This award is bestowed upon a fellow blogger whose blog content or design is, in the giver’s opinion, brilliant.

Regurgitation of the Rules:

1. When accepting this auspicious award, you must write a post bragging about it, including the name of the misguided soul who thinks you deserve such acclaim, and link back to the said person so everyone knows she/he is real.

2. Choose a minimum of seven (7) blogs that you find brilliant in content or design. Or improvise by including bloggers who have no idea who you are because you don’t have seven friends. Show the seven random victims’ names and links and leave a harassing comment informing them that they were prized with Honest Weblog. Well, there’s no prize, but they can keep the nifty icon.

3. List at least ten (10) honest things about yourself. Then pass it on!*

So here’s my list:

1. Blonder Than You. I like this blog because it’s gleefully naughty, terrifically dirty, and almost always cheeky. But I LOVE this blog because Suicide Blond is fantastic at throwing emotional curveballs when you least expect it.

2. Ill-Doctrine: Yeah, I know, it’s a video blog, but Jay Smooth rocks my world with his ability to tackle complicated social politics in a way I thought had disappeared when Dave Chapelle left television. And the man does it with great humor, integrity and style…sorry, Dave, the torch has been passed.

3. Indexed. Anyone who reads this blog regularly enough knows I loves me my geekery. The broad who writes this blog is a genius at combining elements of social studies, basic logic, and pure snarkery

4. Saudi Eve. A Saudi Arabian female trying to tackle work and and a personal life in a society I simply wouldn’t ever want to live in. I first came across her during the Israel bombing of Lebanon in 2006. Her entry for that time crushed me and I know I haven’t looked at that region in the same way since.

5. If you Want Kin… Who would have ever thought that white girl from Detroit would have so much in common with a teacher from Brooklyn of Jamaican descent? But time and time again, I find my thoughts, favorite poets, writers, movies, and other life passions reflected in her writing. I don’t know this woman, but I feel a stronger kinship with her than I do with most my blood relatives.

6. Fox and Maus. My buddy ole pal from my little island off the coast of Maine. I like Turkish Prawn’s New England sensibility, plus he gives me news from home.

7. Computer Nerd Composer. What can I say? Hildi is my favorite Viking from one of my favorite countries.

And my 10 Honest Confessions:

1. Walk by my house on a summer evening and you can usually hear me rocking out, top of my lungs while doing whatever it is I am doing inside. Sometimes it’s Opera, sometimes it’s Irish ballads, lately, it has been  a lot of Elton John, circa 1970’s.

2. While I appreciate Aretha Franklin, I really don’t think she is the greatest female rock singer. And to be really honest, I think she kind of sucks. I can easily list dozens of other women with better voices.

3. The older I get the more I want to go back in time and be even more reckless than I was already.

4. I’m honest to the point of being mean. I’m trying to work on that.

5. When Sailor is gone, I can go months without shaving my legs…in the winter anyway…

6. Despite the tattoos, dirty jokes, and perceived social aggressiveness, I’m actually a little conservative and can be quite shy.

7. Although I love my family, with the exception of my sister, I don’t like them very much as people.

8. I won the freakin’ lottery in the In-Law departent. My mother and father in-law rock.

9. My husband is so nice, so thoughtful and so good to other people that I feel unworthy sometimes.

10. My dog is my longest and most successful relationship.

If one thing stands out on this trip to The Hague thus far, it is this: tourists very easily lose their way.

This is because The Hague follows a classic European medieval architectural scheme of lovely old buildings on lovely old streets, with lovely old parks scattered about. We’ve walked to the convention center no less than a dozen times and my colleagues still manage to get lost every single trip. Maybe I’ve just got more experience with this sort of thing, I’m not entirely sure.

And this is a horrible thing to admit, but it’s also kind of boring. Everything is just plain nice. The people, the places, the town in general. My mind is rebels. Spring is a bit further along and the crocuses are blooming in line with the daffodils, the tulip, and the creeping myrtle. I did mean tulip in the singular sense. I’ve only seen one the entire time. I guess I just expected more.

My motley crew of colleagues and I are staying at the Hotel Petit which over looks a beautiful park flanked by the Russian Embassy (all the better to keep tabs on you darling, Vladimir) and it, too, is nice. And charm galore! The hotel is well thought-out and well-run. The steps climbing to the upper floors are amazingly steep and you really have to pick your knees up if you wish to tackle them, but I like the challenge. The rooms are well appointed. The bathrooms are immaculate. There are thoughtful amenities everywhere. And it’s all nice.

The trams are clean. The streets are spotless. The garbage cans never seem to be in possession of refuse. Throw something in and watch, it magically disappears I am convinced. There are specialized bike lanes and bike turning lanes. The sidewalks are massive and the whole town is pedestrian friendly. Most bikes in town are of the grandma’s cruiser variety and they, too, you guessed it, are nice.

After the untamed geography of Iceland, the wind swept adventures in Ireland, and the complex hospitality rituals of Northern Africa, The Hague is a cakewalk. Not something I can quite get my mind around. It’ s pleasant. It’s relaxing. The townsfolk are incredibly direct. Nothing appears difficult. Not that the people weren’t “nice” at these other places, they were terrifically lovely. It’s just that Iceland is a hostile climate to your person, Ireland wants to either drown you in her bogs or her liquor, and Northern Africa is just a generally complicated place to visit for any number of reasons. All of which makes for memorable trips and good yarns.

In difficulty comes drama. In drama comes a story you pass around to your friends for years to come. The best story I have from this trip so far revolves around a highly aggressive pigeon who politely flew off when I confronted him directly on his boorish behavior.

I’ve still got a few more days for something to happen but it’s not looking good. The museums are well appointed and the local attractions are interesting and well-staffed. Looking to be a another nice day.

A professor of mine commented to me before this trip that The Hague is great place to live but you don’t want to visit here. I’m beginning to see what he means, which of course, says more about me than it does of this perfect, clean, well organized, well run, and nice city.

413bpbtm3al_sl500_aa280_Someone please explain to me how this Snuggie thing, which is essentially a bathrobe worn backwards, has become a necessary thing in people’s lives…?

Are we, in fact, that dumb?

Sadly, I think, yes.

Damn, I love YouTube. Want to find a commercial with a catchy jingle that you remember from when you were a kid? It’s there. Want to see an old cartoon that never made it to DVD? They got it. Want to see an old PSA about eating beans and rice? No problem.

YouTube has grown to be so much more than just a streaming site. It is now like the Master Historian of All Times.

So speaking of culturally significant things, I came across an old favorite song from kid-dom that will now.not.go.away…

Sailor and I have been in the crappy rental house for 9 months now and we have yet to hook up the TV. Mostly because we’re too busy to watch, anything we’re interested in is online anyway, and we generally find that there are much more interesting things to do with our time.

Like spy on the neighbors.

Actually, the neighbors in this hood kind of suck and aren’t at all interesting, but there’s a single exception and that is the family across the street. The house is enormous and beautiful and the landscaping is wild and gorgeous. I feel only mildly guilty that they have to look at such a crap-hole like our rental. The view from my porch being infinitely better.

But the residents of the abode is what gets me. They’re perfect. Husband, wife, two kids (boy and girl), replete with dog. They are charming. They are cheerful. They are kind. And they are the best neighbors ever.

I hate them immensely.

No. Retract. I don’t. I’m too utterly fascinated to hate them. Let’s start with the kids. Teenagers who please-thank you-and ma’am me to death. What’s not the love? The puppy (a Pitbull mix) aside from being cute as hell (is Hell cute? hmmmm), is terrifically well-behaved. The wife, aka Skort Mama (I’ve yet to see her in anything else), is long, lean, tanned, and sinewy, like she plays tennis all day long. Only she doesn’t. I never fail to see her gardening. All the time. She’s doing it as I type this.

Put the peice de resistance is the husband. I like to call him “Executive Polo”. The man is in possession of a bazillion different polo shirts. I know this to be true because I’m keeping a log. No joke. Day 59 and not a single repeat. Khakis too. Every day. Perfectly pressed. Utterly perfect.

It freaks me the hell out.

Executive Polo helps me haul groceries out of the car and up to my porch in a downpour. In 70 feet, I’m drenched. He only has a single drop of rain on the left lens of glasses. WTF?

Executive Polo and Skort Mama are weeding the garden (by my calculations it takes up the front yard and is about 1500 sf). It’s nearly 90 degrees out and they’ve been at it for hours. I walk across the street to drop off mail mistakenly delivered to my house and Executive Polo (yup, sporting khakis and the shirt), has not one drop of sweat, not the faintest stain of flush, and not a single damn speck dirt on his knees! In fact, his khakis are still retaining a crease! He looks like he could go straight out to dinner. And of course, Skort Mama smells like the flowers she’s been snipping for an arrangement for a sick friend.

What is dangerously close to being the final straw was last night, when talking to another neighbor whose dog strayed into my yard and who had clearly rolled in poo, Executive Polo arrives home. The dog breaks free, makes a beeline for EP and is circling him like crazy rubbing his filthy being all over the poor man’s legs.

And you guessed it. The shit didn’t stick.

I repeat: Shit does not stick to this man!!

Sailor thinks I’m nuts, but he’s been gone the entire summer. He has not seen what I have seen. And clearly I can not take it anymore. Either this family is dipped in Scotch Guard or the Stepfords are living across the street. I’m about two steps away from peering in their windows at night to confirm my suspicions that they don’t sleep but rather plug-in for recharging.

Seriously, if they weren’t so pretty, and nice, and so effing delightful, I’d have to find a way to eliminate them.

There’s only so much I can take.

My friend “L” is in town this weekend. And while we haven’t seen each other in 4 years, we can both easily agree this is probably a good thing. See, whenever hanging with L, I have to be very careful with what I say because whenever I utter something remotely predictive around L, it tends to come true.

People’s Exhibit #1:

Me: Hey, what do you want to bet the guy with least amount teeth in this bar tries to by us a shot?

People’s Exhibit #2:

Me: Hey, wouldn’t it be funny if a cop pulled us over while we have the blow-up doll in the car?

People Exhibit #2b (5 minutes later):

Me. Don’t worry, no cop is gonna give you a ticket when you have a blow-up doll in the car.

People’s Exhibit #3:

Me: Hey, what a beautiful day! All we need is for me to get stung by a bee so I can miss it by spending the day in the emergency room.

You get the picture…

So, L is visiting and the magic seems to be off. And I’m not sure what has happened. Of course it’s easy to predict that a bad band will play Rum Runners and that the ear piercing decibels of sound at Molly Brannigans will drive you from the bar, because these things always happened. And betting that 4 Key Lime Martini’s at Scotty’s will be the near death of you is pretty much a no-brainer. Estimative words of probability need not apply.

So what has happened? Where the spontaneity? Where’s the mystery? Is Erie just that predictable? Or have my nights out become predictable?

See, L used to be my wing-man back living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland when while drinking at bars, I would break out an Arkansas accent and become “Candy: The Stripper Who Couldn’t Dance”. She never questioned me, she just went with it and would become “Addfwyn: The Overly Talkative Welsh Woman No One Could Understand Except Her Friend Candy”.

Nights like those tend to lead to a certain amount of unpredictability which made my proclamations all that more remarkable. This weekend, however, not a one. My tuning must be off.

But I have one day. Maybe I can pull a rabbit out of my hat. I hope so. I need an adventure.

I can’t help myself, this is just too hilarious and fact, after all, is stranger (and funnier) than fiction…

Seriously, you would have thought someone would have the sense to take the battery out if this thing .

“Hey there, big boy, is that a vibrator in that box or are you just trying to kill me?”

I’ve decided to put a halt to my normal shenanigans and skedaddle to the other side of the spectrum to indulge in some good old fashioned word play. I’ve been collecting a list of words that have “fallen out of fashion” in the last century, although, I bet if you rent a copy of the movie “The Music Man”, I’m sure you could probably catch most of them there.

Geegaw (trinket)

Frippery (finery or something trivial)

Calaboose (jail)

Hoosegow (jail again)

Hornswogle (swindle)

Gulch (to drink greedily)

Doppleganger (a ghostly double of a person, aka stalker?)

Brouhaha (a donneybrook!)

Dagnabit (expression of anger or frustration)

Kerfuffle (commotion, and isn’t this a Simpson character?)

Pettifoggery (shyster)

Canoodle (to pet amorously)

Fandango (a dance or piece of music)

Fusty (moldy, musty, out of date, or an old fogy)

Hoary (gray with age, ancient or venerable, tedious from similarity)

Dandiprat (a diminutive person, a coin, or spoiled brat)

Musterdevillers (a valuable cloth)

Taradiddle (lie)

Parsifal (gloriousness)

Cattywampus (askew or awry)

Hierophant (one explains mysteries, a mystagogue)

Slumgullion (a stew, or refuse from whale blubber processing-yum!)

Mollycoddle (to spoil or indulge)

Soused (a little abvious I think)

Milksop (a spoiled brat)

And my personal favorite…

Quaff (to drink copiously and with hearty enjoyment)