Santa's Already Visited, So Screw This Being Good Stuff!

Dave and I rewrote the words to a few Christmas/Winter songs... My favorite is "Prosty the Snow Whore." We were pretty impressed with our originality, but, alas, at least one other person knows of Prosty and has posted about her on the Net. Oh, well.


Q: Why do seagulls fly by the sea?

A: Because if they flew by the bay, they'd be bagels! (Bay-Gulls! Get it?)


Driving down to Warsaw, MO over the weekend, Dave and I saw lots of these round hay bales.

I read somewhere recently that they are actually illegal in most states.

Apparently, the horses don't get a square meal!

Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?

A: To get the Chinese newspaper.

Do you get it? Me, neither! I get the St. Louis Post Dispatch!

Okay, sorry for all that. But, maybe it made you chuckle just a little bit. Don't let the post-holiday blues get you down!


Merry Christmas!

I'll be out-of-town and with family all weekend, so I probably won't blog again 'til next Tuesday. So, I leave you with this, which was printed on a holiday card I got from a friend at work:

The Christmas Truce

World War I combatants, during the 1914 holiday season, entrenched along the 500 mile front stretching from the Belgium coast to the Swiss border, overcame their conditioning to hate, loathe and kill one another, dropped their weapons, entered no-man's land between their respective lines and, in spite of commanding officers' threats to charge those who would fraternize with the enemy with treason and send them to the firing squad, extended the hand of peace and goodwill.

Mortal enemies became friends for a time. They played soccer, decorated Christmas trees, exchanged gifts, sang carols in their respective languages and, before being forced back behind the front lines by their officers, promised that when the shooting started again that they would fire high, harmlessly into the air. This spontaneous effort of the lower ranks to create peace may have blossomed if it were not for the interference of their politicians and generals.

The Christmas Truce remains a moving manifestation of the adsurdities of war.

"I like to think that people in the long run are going to do more to promote peace than our governments. Indeed, I think that the people want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get out of the way and let them have it." ~Dwight D. Eisenhower

Merry Christmas! Peace and goodwill to all!


Book Review

I finished my review of The Bright Forever by Lee Martin. Go check it out here.

Also, the next book I will be reading is Snow by Orhan Pamuk. Should be a good one. You are invited to pick it up and read along with me. I'd love to hear your opinions about the book!


It's the Thought that Counts...

Every year I tell myself that I am going to send out Christmas cards, have my shopping finished and presents wrapped more than 3 days before Christmas, and make some sort of gift for my colleagues.
This year I have accomplished all three with almost a week to spare!
Sunday, I made candied walnuts to give to my friends at work. It was surprisingly easy and didn't take all that long. (Although the trip to the store to buy more vanilla was kind of a pain in the arse...)
Simple ingredients: Walnuts (obviously), sugar, cinnamon, ginger and vanilla extract. I made two double batches, so I would have enough for all 15 co-workers.

Throw everything except the nuts and vanilla in a pot and bring it to a boil. When it is at the soft ball stage, throw in the nuts and get them all good and coated.
Then, let them cool and dry on some wax paper. Voila!

The time consuming part was the presentation of the nuts. (Yeah, yeah, I know, I said "presentation of the nuts"... Grow up already!) I decided to handmake tags and cutting out all those goofy Christmas trees and then threading the ribbon through the tag and the jingle bell was a bit tedious...

But, damn they look good!


The Final Holiday Blitz!

I don't know about everyone else, but I've been busier than a one-legged man in a butt kickin' contest recently! Something about the holidays... Seems like everyone else has been pretty busy, too.

I think it is possible that I've been to the mall more times within the past two weeks than I have since last Christmas season! I'm stopping on the way home from work tonight and then I'm done... I don't care what anyone says, I'm not shopping anymore!


Some Holiday Cheer...

Liz and Dave saying "hello" to Santa at R.T. Weiler's...

And, for a great laugh, click here. I promise that you won't be disappointed!


Bumblebee in December?

Mother Nature is getting a little screwy around here. Two weeks ago, the city practically shutdown for two days because of the ice/snow storm that we got.

Today, a bee flew in my window at work and buzzed around my desk for a while because the temperature is in the 60's... and we're only ten days out from Christmas!

*Sorry for the poor picture quality. But, I was able to shoo the bee back out the window before he posed for a better picture. Hate to think of the little sucker freezing to death in a week or so.

Screwdrivers, Secrets, and Snowmen

* DEFINITION OF A TOOL: A person who chooses to drive his mid-size SUV onto a big pile of snow, just to get a close parking spot. If the only "sport-utilitying" you do in your Sport Utility Vehicle is this type of activity, you are a tool. You're going to Sunday morning brunch at Mimi's Cafe, for god's sake!

* CONFESSION #1: I cried at the end of the movie "ELF." It just made me happy to see the people believe in Santa and know that the children of the world would once again see toys under the tree.

* CONFESSION #2: My mother was a hippie. I found out a long time ago that she smoked pot during the 70's. Who didn't? But I never understood her reasoning for thinking that pot was safer back then than it is now. That was until she recently confessed to me that she and her friend grew their own pot in the backyard. "Don't worry," she told me. "I threw away all of my paraphenelia soon after you were born." Thanks for the reassurance, Mom.

* Q&A: A child asked me yesterday if I could guess what his father's name is. I told him I didn't know what it was. "Me, either!" he exclaimed. "Because I never met him!" Mmmm-kay...

* JOKE: How do you know when there is a snowman in your bed? You wake up wet...


Check This Out...

For those of you who don't spend 100% of your life on the Internet, I've created a new blog.

It is (for now) called: Check This Out.

I am going to review books, movies, music, etc., there. It is more a site for me to record my own reactions to books and stuff than anything else, but I want to invite you to join me, if you'd like. The first book that I'm reading is posted there... Feel free to pick it up at the library or whatever and read along with me.

Green Thumb, 911!

We came home from the store with something that looked like this:

What we have now is something pretty much exactly like this:

Lessons learned:

1. Poinsettias need water.

2. They don't like to be next to a fireplace while it is burning.

Who knew?



~CAUTION: *bLiNg* may not be suitable for adults over the age of 55~

Dear Dad:

I know that since you and Mom split up five years ago, you've been working to get yourself in prime condition to play the field. You've lost a lot of weight and started gelling your hair in a style that can only really be described as 'porcupine.' It has taken some getting used to, but I feel like I must respect your need to cling to your youth.

I think this weekend you reached the point where you need an intervention.

Friday night, you wore what can only be described as "bling" to a family holiday gathering. The large gold cross that dangled from a thick gold chain around your neck to mid-chest level was too much. One cousin asked if you were 'born again.'

Upon later investigation it was discovered that you would be leaving early to attend a social function following the family get-together. I rationalized that perhaps you had chosen to wear the "bling" to fit into the crowd that would be at this function... until I learned that you were going to a Swing Dancing Club Holiday Social.

Have swing dancers begun wearing "bling?" I was unaware of the trend, if this is so.

I guess I'm just trying to do my daughterly duty by letting you know this:

*bLiNg* just doesn't quite work with an argyle sweater vest.

Love your daughter,


No Child Left Behind


1. All teams must make the state playoffs and all MUST win the championship. If a team does not win the championship, they will be on probation until they are the champions, and coaches will be held accountable. If, after two years, they have not won the championship their footballs and equipment will be taken away UNTIL they do win the championship.

2. All kids will be expected to have the same football skills at the same time even if they do not have the same conditions or opportunities to practice on their own. NO exceptions will be made for lack of interest in football, a desire to perform athletically, or genetic abilities or disabilities of themselves or their parents.


3. Talented players will be asked to workout on their own, without instruction. This is because the coaches will be using all their instructional time with the athletes who aren't interested in football, have limited athletic ability or whose parents don't likefootball.

4. Games will be played year round, but statistics will only be kept in the 4th, 8th, and 11th game. It will create a New Age of Sports where every school is expected to have the same level of talent and all teams will reach the same minimum goals. If no child gets ahead, then no child gets left behind. If parents do not like this new law, they are encouraged to vote for vouchers and support private schools that can screen out the non-athletes and prevent their children from having to go to school with bad football players.

*I can not take credit for creating this... It was forwarded to me from a friend and the author is unknown.

Never Eat Yellow Snow....

here to make your own snowflake.


On Autopilot

What a thrill it was when as a child we would be driving in the car and pass someone in another car that I knew!!! This happened often when we'd be leaving the subdivision and would approach the car of a neighborhood friend. Waving frantically, I'd grin out the window, hoping my friend would see me. What were the chances that we would both be riding in cars at the same time and the paths of those two cars would intersect?

Then there was the phase when my mother would be driving and see somebody that she knew went to school with me. She would honk at them as I would shrink down in the passenger seat and hope that whoever it was didn't recognize me and the fact that my mother was so incredibly mortifying.

Once I got my license, seeing a friend in another car in the road became an invitation for a challenge. I specifically remember racing my friend Garrett down Highway 70 to see who could make it to the bowling alley first. Granted, I was driving my mom's Plymouth Caravan woody-style mini-van and he was driving his mom's minivan, but we were hitting over 90 mph in those suckers. Hey, you gotta work with what you got!

Now, I'm never quite sure what to do when I see somebody driving that I know. I would say that at least one or two mornings out of the five day work week, I end up next to, in front of, or behind a co-worker. Do I wave? Ignore them and continue driving? Rev my engine and take off when the light turns green?

Usually, I just kind of stare straight forward and act oblivious (which really isn't all that much of a stretch). I mean, I don't want to be rude, but if I wave once, do I have to wave every single time they pass me or I pass them on the rest of the way to work? That would make me feel more dumb than pretending like I don't notice them.

Although it would be much more fun to drag race to work every morning!


Presidential Predictions

Dave and I were having a conversation over the weekend, and I'd like your input, too. Please participate in this little survey, if you don't mind.

Do you think that there will be:

Okay, then... I guess that is assuming that it will be an African-American before another minority. Do you think that the first minority (perhaps soon to be non-minority) president will be:

  • An African-American OR
  • A Mexican-American OR
  • An Asian-American OR
  • A different ethnicity/nationality?

And it isn't just about race. What about sexual orientation? Do you think that:

  • A male homosexual OR
  • A female homosexual will be the first elected president?

And, finally, let's throw religion in there, just to make sure that I can try to include everyone. Do you think that there will be:

  • A Jewish president OR
  • A Mormon president OR
  • A Muslim president OR
  • Another (non-Protestant, non-Catholic) president first?

I'm interested to hear your input.


Piles, Perfume, and Parties


"You seem to really have your life pulled together."

"Oh, I don't know. I guess it has gotten better recently. I mean, I used to be a complete and total mess. Now, at least, it is in a pile."

Can we STOP already with the celebrity fragrances?

Britney Spears, J-Lo, Mariah Carey and even David Hasselhoff are hawking their special scents to the masses. Sorry, but I don't want to stink like some half-famous has-been.

However, I do know a certain somebody who will be getting the new H2 cologne in his stocking from Santa this Christmas.

Happy Birthday to two very special people!

Preston Burke, who was born yesterday, November 29, and weighed in at 11 pounds, 12 ounces, to Ron and Heather Brown! Congratulations!

And, of course, to Party Girl Paula! Don't worry... The party's just getting started around here! And, it looks like you'll be getting your birthday wish of snow today! It took some arm twisting, but I think Dave talked Mother Nature into it.


For those without a chimney...

As I was browsing through the local Bed, Bath and Beyond store over the holiday weekend, I saw a television with a crackling fire atop some other merchandise.

Not quite sure what it was all about, I looked a bit closer.

That's right! For $9.99, you can buy the "Radiant Fireplace 2" DVD.

I remember being very concerned as a young child that Santa would be unable to get into my house because we did not have a fireplace or a chimney. With the "Radiant Fireplace 2" DVD, children all over the world can have the peace of mind of knowing that Santa can get into the house through the cable wires!


On another note, can somebody please explain to me why the fact that Britney Spears and Paris Hilton are now "BFF's" is important enough to be national news? This morning, as I was getting ready for work, I had to endure an update on how Brit and Paris are practically inseparable.

Great. They were already hootchies. Now, they are like hootchies-squared.

And shouldn't Britney be home watching her children? What a joke!

(I should be ashamed of myself... the fact that I am even posting this is simply fueling the fire of the public's infatuation with people who are famous for no reason...)


Christmas Shopping List


And then, my shopping will be done!

**Hey, that's funny... I don't care who you are! (Love you guys!!!)


Happy Thanksgiving!

Okay, okay... This has nothing to do with Thanksgiving... But it is pretty freakin' funny anyway.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

(Oh, and just a little teaser... I'm pretty excited about my next blog entry. Be sure to check back either late Thursday night or Friday morning for it!!!)


It is the little things in life...

I don't care who you are... Anytime someone has taken the time to move the letters on one of those signs to write something that is somewhat taboo, it has to make you smile.

A note from the custodian at work. Should I be worried that he is trying to hit on me?

And what beats a soy sauce poodle?

Remember to smile! Life goes by too fast to spend it unhappy.


Instruments of Torture

We live in a masochistic society.

In a world where fairy tales tell us that live happily ever after, we still question something that is "too good to be true." Pain makes us feel like we are alive. And, we inflict much of this torture upon ourselves.

For example, look at these tweezers. They are used to grasp and yank tiny hairs from their follicles, for the sake of a perfectly arched eyebrow. Rather drastic measures for a relatively minor asthetic result.

Using Visine is the equivalent of Chinese water torture. Lean back, open your eye as wide as possible and wait... wait... wait... for the drop to finally decide to drop onto your eye. The chemicals in the drop can cause stinging, the shock from the attack causes eyes to water.

Eyelash curlers just look menacing. Why would I want to put these anywhere near my eyes? Yet, we use these to twist our eyelashes into a shape they naturally are not, making sure to pinch the surrounding tender skin in the process.

In case that isn't enough, why don't we take hot wax, smear it onto our skin, and then tear it off along with any hair that becomes trapped underneath. Sounds like a pretty good device to get a captive to talk.

The last items I'll bring up are the lights that surround vanity tables. Think of a detective interrogating a criminal in a dark room with nothing but a spotlight shining into the sweaty face of the suspected. Or, for those of you with a little more geek in you, Picard when he was captured by the Cardassians and tortured...


I guess going through all of these on a regular basis is good in case we are ever captured and forced to endure these agonies. I guess it is like they say: "What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger."


SPAMalot in Camelot!

"You must find a shrubbery!!!"

"I fahrt in your zhenerail die-rectshon!"

"'Tis only a flesh wound!"

"Perhaps it was an African swallow..."

"I'm not dead yet!"

Okay, I think I've gotten that out of my system. I saw Monty Python's SPAMalot over the weekend and it was everything I expected it to be. It had all the fabulous (quirky) quotes from the original MP & The Holy Grail plus some pretty funny additional scenes. I highly recommend it to any Monty Python fan.

Outside the theater, there was a bonus:

That's right... THE SPAMMOBILE!

They were actually handing out free samples of SPAM!

While we're on the topic of SPAM (which we are) here is a labeled diagram of a can of SPAM.

And, a list of the best uses for SPAM (other than eating it, of course):
  • Makes a good decoy for those annoying dogs that follow you around whenever you escape.
  • The oil from just one can can generate enough electricity to liposuck the fat from the asscheek of a Californian.
  • 10,000 sundried Spam blocks + a little drywall mud = a new brick veneer finish for the old double wide.
  • Stuff into underwear for instant Bridget Jones costume.
  • The high oil content makes it an excellent suntanning product that doubles as a tasty beach treat.
  • Handy sink stopper.
  • Can be carved into very attractive lawn sculptures.
  • Set two or three slices side by side: instant mouse pad!


Merry Christmas to Me!

As I was cleaning the other day, I came across some old cards and stuff that I have been storing in a neat pile on top of my dresser.

Look what I found!

Six gift cards left over from last Christmas!! (2 St. Louis Bread Company cards, 1 for a local coffee shop, $25 card for Barnes and Noble, $10 card for Blockbuster, and a $50 card for JC Penney's!)

I put them in my purse with the hope that I would remember to spend them. Yesterday, I was able to get Bread Co. for breakfast for free! I don't remember who bought me the card, but thanks! It came in handy!

I guess the next thing I need to do is get the gift bag of birthday presents that has been over at Dave's house since last April and see if there are any cards or cash in there, too!

100th Post

This is my 100th post! (Well, that is, discounting the several posts that I've saved as drafts and then never published.)

Most of my visitors are you, my loyal readers (haha), but some are from Internet searches from random people around the globe. I would have to say that my blog is typically pretty PG-rated, bordering on PG-13, so I don't get a lot of hits from these searches, like for "nubile nymphs" or "XXX Flintstone cartoons." (Although maybe now I'll start getting hits for those search terms!)

Here are a few of the searches that have led people to The Lemonade Stand:

"Squirrel Hunting with Grandpa"

"Buy Mike's Hard Frozen Lemonade in Maryland"

"Van de Camp Beenie Weenie"

"Not your Grandma's Lemonade Stand"

"Cheez Its + Ingredients List"

"T-Burn Combo"

There are some others, but I'm sure you're probably bored by now. The list is rather random, but what else would you expect?


So Happy It's Thursday

What a great name for a place for happy hour!


Here's an equation for you:




Dr. Mike and Dave reliving the band camp days?

Yes, this was our Wednesday night... into the wee hours of Thursday morning.

What have Paula and I gotten ourselves into?

P.S. Would you like to have Shreks with me?


One more political ad...

This clip is only 38 seconds long and I promise that it will make you laugh!

Hooray for the elections finally being over!


Watching the returns...

So, Dave's down in Jeff City celebrating his brother's birthday... (Happy Birthday, Ron!)

My Tuesday night included cleaning my apartment, ordering a pizza, surfing the net, and watching the election returns on The Daily Show's "Midterm Midtacular."

Don't tell Dave about the pizza, okay? But, I didn't have any food in
my fridge!

Gotta love the square beyond compare!

Election Day...

Normally, I simply "select all" and "delete" the messages from my junk e-mail box. Today, as I scrolled through the list of senders, I noticed that I had a message from none other than President George W. Bush!

"Laura and I urge you to vote Republican and to ask all your family and friends to go to the polls. The stakes are too high for you to stay at home."

As I scrolled a little further, another message caught my eye. This one was from President Bill Clinton.

"We need every Democrat, every volunteer, and every vote. Because when the stakes are this high, we can't be satisfied with merely being right. We have to win."

Apparently, the stakes are high during this election.

I had several other e-mails regarding the election, too:

"The President is committed to winning Republican victories at all levels and we are criss-crossing the country campaigning for GOP candidates and spreading our message. But with precious little time remaining, our President needs your help today, too." ~Laura Bush

"America wants change. We want an end to the disgraceful lies and the astonishing incompetence. We want a government that won't sell out our children's future to enrich the wealthy and the well-connected." ~Senator Chuck Schumer

"Same-sex marriage was legalized by the Massachusetts state Supreme Court in 2004. Please join with us in our fight to insure that more children are raised in a home with a mother and a father!" ~Matt Daniels, President of Alliance for Marriage

"Your vote and your support are critical and very well might make the difference between a Senate that continues to make America safer and stronger - and a Senate run by Hillary Clinton, Ted Kennedy and their liberal special interests." ~Senator Jim Talent

I'm not sure how I became so lucky to get on all of the mailing lists from both of the major political parties in the U.S., but reading their e-mails today is too little, too late for my vote. I voted absentee yesterday.

Warning: If you are easily offended or
extremely close-minded in terms of political issues,
do not read further!


On another note of the political nature...

Today Missouri is voting on Amendment 2, which is in regard to stem cell research. This amendment has made national news with the advertisements in the state for and against the measure with Michael J. Fox supporting it, Rush Limbaugh bashing him for doing so, and Kurt Warner and Jeff Suppan participating in a rebuttal ad.

Many of the people who are voting on Amendment 2, both for and against it, are extremely ill-informed about what the measure actually means.

I find it extremely disheartening that the American public does not take the time to find out the facts about the issues before making a vote. Much of the religious right is against Amendment 2, citing their opposition to abortion. The truth is that stem cell research and abortion are unrelated in terms of this amendment. Also, the amendment is simply providing specific regulations and provisions for stem cell research that is already protected under federal law.

But, my guess would be that most people did not take the time to actually read the amendment. It is pretty clear about the issues that people are trying to muddy.

My guess is that Amendment 2 will not pass, because as a friend so accurately said, "Missouri is just as backwards as Kansas."


By the way... If you don't vote, I am prohibiting you to comment on this post. Because if you don't take the time to get your ass out and vote, then you are actively giving up your right to have an opinion.


The States I've Visited


Karaoke for Dummies

Earlier this evening, I was requested to share my expertise in the field of karaoke singing. As an experienced karaoke singer (my first solo performance was when I was in fourth grade), there are a few tips that I can share so that you, too, can reach your karaoke-ing potential.

Tip #1: Know your range.

The number one mistake that the novice karaoke singer makes is choosing a song that is either too high/low for his or her voice. There are many good singers out there who see their hopes for success on the karaoke stage dashed when they choose a song that is out of their range and it is not well received by the audience. For example, I would never sing a song by Mariah - I'm an alto, and that's all there is to it. I try to stick with Lauryn Hill, etc.

Tip #2: What song should I sing?

For most typical karaoke bars, you are going to want a fun, upbeat, easy-to-sing-along-with song. Stay away from Celine. Even if you can sing "My Heart Will Go On" with perfect pitch, nobody wants to sit in a dark bar drinking Bud Light and smoking a cigarette while you croon away on stage.

Some songs that are always safe: "I Will Survive," "Piano Man," "I Love Rock 'n' Roll," and "Sail Away."

Tip #3: What genre of music is best?

Some genres lend themselves easily to karaoke: Old school rock & roll and country songs are usually the best. People are familiar with the songs and they are typically easy to sing along with. In general, stay away from rap and/or hard alternative.

Tip #4: Choose a song you know!

When you are choosing a song to sing, choose a song you know. I know that sounds crazy, but if you only know the chorus of a song, that probably isn't the best choice for you. You don't have to know every single word, but it is important to know the basic melody from beginning to end.

Tip #5: Strategies to signing up for songs.

The hardest part of going out to sing karaoke is waiting for your turn to sing. Most good karaoke DJ's will allow you to turn in multiple songs at a time and will just put them into rotation with the other singers. If you aren't sure what songs you are going to want to sing, at least try to have another slip of paper ready to hand to the DJ when you go up for your song so that when you are finished singing one song, you already have at least one in again.

(Note: Back in my hardcore karaoke addiction days, the DJ at my favorite karaoke bar actually had a little filing box and the "regulars" could just keep slips with their favorite songs in the box. That way, we could just pull out the song we wanted to sing instead of having to fill out a new slip each night we wanted to sing that particular song.)

Tip #6: Do I do a duet?

Duets are fine, but the rule of knowing the song you are going to sing applies here, too. Do not allow somebody to talk you into singing a duet if you don't know the song. It ends up just being painful for everyone involved, especially when it is a song that never ends like "Paradise by the Dashboard Lights."

Tip #7: How to correctly position the microphone.

Seems like it would be obvious, but the whole point of karaoke-ing is having the audience hear you. First of all, don't leave it in the stand. It is vital to hold the microphone very close to your mouth. Hold that mic like Paris Hilton auditioning for Deep Throat 16.

Tip #8: Make use of the instrumental breaks.

Nobody wants to feel like a dumbass just standing on stage during the song's instrumental break. While "Free Bird" may give you enough time to go up to the bar, get another beer, sign up for your next song, smoke a cigarette, and try to pick up that hot guy/girl who just asked you to sing a duet, most songs will not. Carry your drink or cigarette on stage with you so that you have something you keep you busy during the break.

Another option that is always a winner with the crowd at the bar is if you are willing to break out a few dance moves (think Napoleon Dynamite) up on stage. Don't take yourself too seriously. Get up there and have fun. Realize that there is no agent out in the audience waiting to discover new talent. Whether it is some classic disco dancing or the Running Man, it takes the pressure off you to have perfect vocals and keeps you from standing on stage like a deer in the headlights.

Tip #9: Correct timing of songs.

Some songs that are always crowd favorites need to wait until the crowd is sufficiently lubricated with alcohol to truly appreciate the humor in them. For example, "I Touch Myself" and "Piece of Shit Car" are usually best reserved for the last hour and a half or so that the bar is open. I usually only sing my trademark song, "The Pussycat Song," as one of the final few songs of the night, when only the real drinkers are still around the bar.

Tip #10: Sing like you're singing in the shower.

If you are going to get up on stage and sing some karaoke, you gotta be willing to go for it. Sing like you've never sung before! There is nothing worse than a meek karaoke singer. Then, when you're walking back to your bar stool, soak in the compliments from your friends and random strangers who are all thoroughly impressed with your mad karaoke skills.