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This blog was sent to me by my favorite Serbian Gypsy and all I can say is: “Miss Golightly! I protest!”

It’s a blog listing the hottest heads of state in order of smokiness and while I generally agree with #1, 2 and 3, Hello, #2, and where have YOU been all my life?, I am protesting my Vladimir being left hanging at a lowly 24 while the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko holds the #15 spot.

Are you people off your ever-livin-rockers? 15?? Have you failed to note the comb-over? The CHiPs-style mustache? His overall general creepiness likened to that of a cattle rapist and/or Hitler’s lost nephew? 15????

And greetings, Number 27! What is a nice looking man like you hanging out at an awful ranking like this?

And Mister Prime Minister of Slovenia…there’s something I should be writing here but I find myself oddly hypnotized by your piercing blue eyes…so clear – so pretty – so very, very shiny….

Protests are limited to their comments section, which I find unsatisfactory and thus forcing me to seek justice for Vladimir elsewhere.

Lukashenko, please. Someone has creepy-uncle issues.


Funerals manage to bring out the worst in me in by the fact that they bring together, in one room, all the things that truly irritate me in life: flowers, the cloying smell of old-lady perfume, and cigarette smoke…and embalming, and caskets, and funeral homes…and insincerity, and vultures, and weirdo relatives.

It’s a hellish trifecta of allergies, religion, and forced association with people I wouldn’t otherwise associate with.

Sailor’s grandmother died and aside from the sheer joy of Sailor coming home for the funeral, I also garnered the smug knowledge of Sailor having relatives scarier than my own; so the funeral was basically a big win for me.

Oh, sure, there’s the grief and everything, but Granny E had a good long run. I fail to see why that is cause for tears.

I’ll admit I am probably wired differently than most, but I see little to cry over in a 90 year old woman who cultivated a life that resulted in the being mourned by extended family and life long friends. She was placed in a beautiful box, with her best suit, surrounded by flowers, letters and pictures. She was visited by at least a hundred people at the funeral home before having a memorial service in her honor and then having a motor parade to beautiful burial ground where I am sure will be placed a beautiful stone.

Aside from disagreeing on the ritual as a whole (embalming, caskets, funeral home), this is still basically what I would call a Good Death.

Think of the thousands of people who die everyday: alone, without burial honor or rites, without anyone to mourn them. Maybe they die brutally, maybe they die anonymously. Not a winter goes by when we don’t hear on the national news about an older person dying of starvation in their home, or who froze to death because they didn’t have the wherewithal to deal with an electric bill, or they die alone, unvisited, unclaimed, in a nursing home.

It’s not bad enough that they die and no one cares, but that maybe they died because no one cared that they even lived. And this happens more than we care to think about. These are not Good Deaths and certainly something to shed a few tears about.

For those who are born and raised here in Erie and live their lives out here, they seem to develop massive networks of friends, friends of friends, and extended friends. People here will drop what their doing and come pay their respects though they may not know the relative you have lost. Honestly, I’ve lived a lot of place and I’ve not seen the likes of it anywhere else. It’s something I have come to appreciate about this place.

So, no, I shed no tears this weekend. I can get verklempt with the best of them, but like I said, Granny E had a good long run and died with family and friends by her side. That’s something to be happy about because Granny E was one of the lucky ones.

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?

I was just reading CNN online when I noticed an article about a court ordering two men to have their noses and ears cuts off. Obviously, a story like that makes you do a double take.

So I click on the story and as I am reading about these “poor” Pakistani men, I then get to the part of the article where the men were sentenced this very specific punishment because they committed this same act on woman.

Apparently, a young woman and her family refused an offer of marriage from a young man (maybe because they knew bad medicine when they saw it?) and in retaliation, the young man and a friend attacked the woman, strangled her, and performed this truly heinous act upon her.

It’s incredible how an opinion can turn a 180 on a situation, because while I at first exclaimed “WTF? We’re allies with these people?” as soon as I read the rest of the story, I more or less was saying “Well done! Bravo!”

Of course, if you at all follow the news, this is also coming from a country where last year three young women were beaten and buried alive for daring to choose their on husbands and three women who came to their defense were murdered as well. And four years prior to that, a woman was savagely gang raped when coming to the verbal defense of her brother falsely accused of a crime…And these are just the stories that somehow make the world media. Imagine how many are left untold?

I know, I know, turn the other cheek, and an eye for an eye makes us all blind, but here’s the thing: It pretty much sucks to be a woman on about 75% of this planet. So if a country wants to make an extreme example out of a pair misogynistic bastards who commit a horrific violent act against a woman, I am perfectly content to let them do so.

Merry effen Giftmasukah.

I had new tires placed on my car yesterday and because I forgot to bring a book, I was stuck in the waiting room reading years-old magazines and listening to the radio. In the hour and a half I spent there, the 1984 charity anthem “Feed the World” played no less than 4 times. I’ve easily heard that song a dozen times a day for the last few weeks.

I think I may have this song on vinyl somewhere, but to hear it played in this new millenium always makes me cringe.

“Do they know its Christmas time at all?…..Feed the world/Let them know its Christmas time”. How very Western-centric that song is. How very Christian-centric. How very dated.

I can excuse the song for the time, but to continue playing this song every year grates the nerve in light of a new found realization that hey! there’s a lot of other religions out there! Granted, the song was targeting famine relief in Ethiopia which is 60% Christian…but it’s also 30% Muslim and 2% Animist…so, no, they don’t know it’s Christmas time and even if they did I’m sure they don’t give a damn…as would the 67% percent of the world that isn’t Christian either.

I’m thinking the Pagans, Wiccans, and Druids of the world need to stage a major Take Back the Night and reclaim the season’s true celebrations of Solstice. Maybe it would give me relief from well-intentioned albeit highly misguided Christmas diddies.

Every other year, Sailor and I trade off going back to Detroit or staying here in Erie for  T-Giving or Giftmasukah. Whether I prefer to spend time with his passive-aggressive-big-on-uncomfortable-silences-in between-the-food-and-excessive-drinking-clan or spending time with my own personal verbal-pre-emptive strike-force-with-the-pleasing-tendency-towards-the-excessive-imbibing-of-alcoholic-beverages-that-can only-be-described-as-not a holiday-but-a-24/7-“happy hour”-while-waiting-for-a-good-old-fashion-Irish knife-fight-to-break-out, is simply a matter of asking myself what side of the bed did I wake up on.


I really don’t wanna do it this year.

Honestly, aside from our mutual predilection towards sizing up liquor purchases based on the quality of bottle with which to make a Molotov Cocktail, how the hell did I ever come to share genetic material with these people?

Let us review 2009:

Big Sis engaged in a trans-continental verbal smackdown of La Parentsia after Father Unit spilled the beans to Mother Gossip about something or other where Mother Unit invariably spread the word around the hood. They waged a three month war of Celtic-Silence which translates into not arguing with each other but through all the people in their lives over the phone. They apparently came to an accord but until the treaty is signed I want nothing to do with that mess.

Second Son then got involved, don’t ask how, but Irish-Saga-Made-Short is that he thinks the family needs to forgive him for effing up his first marriage with another woman 7 years older and her own epic tale that results in my brother being husband #3 in as much as 7 years…(which, side note, I actually have forgiven him, in fact, I’m rooting for them as a couple for the simple reason that he will stay married to this harlot forever out of stubborn pride and to prove a point he certainly will not remember in another ten years, and quite frankly, my brother deserves the merry hell that woman will give him until he is dead).

Where was I?

Father and Mother Unit simply refuse to believe they have done anything wrong – ever – even in light of the overwhelming evidence of a gaggle of supremely messed up kids. But then, if their measure for this success centers around the fact that none of us are on an international watch list, yet, or by the fact that none of us have been picked up, drunk, singing Christmas Carols along the freeway in June in the last 10 years, well, they should consider raising the bar.

Of course, there’s also Third Son, aka the 30 year old child still living in my parents’ basement smoking everything but his bed linens and who always seems to be just one step shy of attending a Star Trek convention…He’s been unemployed for a while. His last job, where everyone hated him for his ignorant and racist attitude….well, if it were me, if I knew everyone hated me and then mysteriously, one day, I am asked out to lunch where I am offered a joint…let’s just say I wouldn’t be too surprised at returning to work to find a drug test waiting for me….

First Son is in a tiff with me for un-friending him on Facebook. I just figured that he should save his hate and vitriol for family gatherings and not post that shit on my wall.

Of course, I’m a perfect ray of sunshine. I don’t what the hell is wrong with those other people.

Sailor’s family is supremely uncomplicated by comparison. All I have to do is sit next to Grandma E and remind her who I am every ten minutes until I’m drunk enough to forget who I am to answer. A relatively simple evening, geopolitcally speaking.

I’m thinking we should stay put. I have the excellent excuse of having ventured into No Man’s Land by staying with sister for T-Giving…that should satisfy some quota somewhere. But then, there’s something to be said for tradition…

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.

Wow, long time with no posts. I have no explanation really except to say that after a particularly brutal school term, I needed to a serious mental reboot. While I am working on school project this summer, I am also getting in my fair share of trashy novels and summer sun.

So Sailor actually has most of the summer off, but since he needs to update his Coast Guard license, he is still not in town as he needs to attend classes all over Hell’s Half Acre and take various exams as far away as Virginia.

What this means to me is that not only is Sailor gone, again, but I now have the added benefit of being car-less. As a one car family, Sailor needs it to travel so I am walking or biking my way around Erie…which fairly sucks by the way…

Mostly this is because Erie has, possibly, the worst population of drivers outside of Boston. Pedestrian signals are merely an annoyance and my mere existence in a crosswalk is apparently cause for vehicular manslaughter. A woman actually jumped the curb in her car on 38th street yesterday and nearly took me out in the process. This is because she was texting while driving. After the car came to a stop, she didn’t even bother to look to see if she had struck anyone or anything, she merely resumed texting until I started banging on the hood of her car demanding for her to step out.

There’s also a ass-hat that works at the Veterans Hospital that somehow has the idea that my bike is required to stop and let him turn into the hospital when I have the mother-effin right of way. So everyday has become a game of chicken where I am rushing ahead to avoid getting hit by this jerk-off.

My favorite people are the car load of reprobate teens who thought it amusing to lean out the window and try to push me off my bike. I guess it didn’t occur to them that such an act could quite conceivably kill me, so I didn’t feel too badly about grabbing the kid by the hair and half pulling him out the car window…little bastard…he screamed like a little boy.

But the strangest reaction I receive is from my co-workers. If I bike to work, this is somehow all right, but if I walk, then this is cause for concern. Why didn’t you just call me??

But whether I bike or walk, I encounter the same issues: hostile motorists who do not respect the law or my right of way. Barring that, when I just don’t feel like possibly getting killed and decide on traversing the sidewalk, there’s also the people who leave their kid’s toys everywhere, or who have spectacularly decrepit cement, or terrifically overgrown bushes and trees, or cars who block the sidewalk thus forcing one back into traffic.

So this interesting little experiment continues for the foreseeable future. Sailor return this week, but I am going to continue to walk and ride to work. I like the exercise, I like the time to myself, and maybe I just like the thrill of the evident danger that is cruising the streets of Erie.

Tally to date: Cars – 0, Inmate – 6.

Where the hell are you?

Don’t you know I’m sick of cold?

Where the hell are you??

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.