Monday, November 26, 2007

Get Back To Work, You Bums

That's part of the first sentence of an e-mail that I so badly want to send to the idiots, er I mean writers who are on strike. Now they are "writing" these silly, self-serving, eye-roll-inducing web ditties about how important they are. They even give their e-mail address, just in case you want to write a letter to them. You know, so you can tell them how awesome they are. PUH-LEASE.

Here it is:

And here is my letter:

Dear "Writers" Guild:

Either shut the hell up or get back to work, you bums. That is, if you can even justify what you do as being "work." You guys write the most trite, contrived, stupid garbage that has ever had the misfortune to be committed to scripts and/or screenplays. Believe me, I really can survive in a world without the likes of Saw 4, Two and a Half Men, and I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. Really. If you spent a quarter as much time writing half-way decent stuff for television and film as you did to write your own whiny, self-aggrandizing bullshit that's on YouTube, then maybe I'd actually want to watch TV or go to a movie.

Get over yourselves. You suck.


You know, when I think about it, almost every fairly decent movie I've seen over the last 10 years or so has been based on someone ELSE'S writing. For example: The Lord of the Rings trilogy. And honestly, the only current TV show I watch is Lost. Everything else I watch on TV is on BBC America! Maybe these writers can tune in there and take some lessons....

Monday, November 12, 2007

You Can Take the Girl Out Of South Philly....

Yes. I am from South Philly. Actually, I am MORE than just "from" South Philly. I actually lived 35 years in South Philly. My parents, all their 65 years, and counting. And my grandparents, all their 88-89 years. There is no hope for me now. I went to Catholic school, from kindergarten through high school, which in my time as a kid was compulsory. I attended a high school which was---and probably still is ---THE penultimate stereotype of what it means to be/talk/act/think "South Philly:" St. Maria Goretti. How I made it out of there speaking recognizable English and not pregnant is a major triumph of my will.

We had phonics in grade school. Sometimes I think my generation must have been the last one to actually have phonics as a subject. But man, oh man, in retrospect? I am so glad that we did. I can only imagine what I'd sound like if I didn't. I think, because of the wonder of phonics, I learned to suppress my South Philly accent. What is a South Philly accent? Oh boy. It's pretty bad. If you know what a Philadelphia accent is like, then times that by like eleventy. There you go.

Mostly everybody knows the colloquial things we say as Philadelphians. Like "Jeet?" "No, Joo?" And all that garbage about cheesesteaks, soft pretzels, and water ice (pronounced "wooder ice"). People, listen, I've only ever eaten like 5 cheesesteaks in my entire life and none of them was from either Pat's or Geno's. Both places suck. Cheesesteaks, in general, SUCK. They are greasy and gristly (at least the ones from Pat's and Geno's are) and just meh.

I digress.

What I am talking about is the distinct linguistic difference regarding how all of us from South Philly were brought up pronouncing certain words when compared to the rest of the universe. To better explain what I'm talking about, please read this very informative article. Here's a quote:

"But there is a distinguishing feature of some South Philly speech: it's r-less, like the rest of the East Coast. There used to be a sign in my neighborhood that said, 'Frankie is a Bastid.' Good phonetic spelling, but not north of Fitzwater Street."

Once you fully comprehend our bizarrely complex vowel structures, how we randomly drop Rs and Ts in words, and how we make up words that don't exist, then you can fully appreciate this story:

How Gina, a "growed" woman, got "all South Philly" on a cashier in Petsmart.

People have always told me that I have the patience of a saint. I don't. I have no idea where anyone got this idea. For this reason, I could never be a teacher, nurse, or parent. I do, however, have a strong ability to control my impatience and swallow my rage and frustrations. Thus why I have been diagnosed with a hiatal hernia, acid-reflux disease, and nervous bowel syndrome. A doctor once told me, "'re an Italian from South Philly, you are going to have stomach problems." Agita is as prevalent as dandruff in South Philly---if not more so.

So, anyway, last week Todd and I were making one of our many visits to Petsmart to load up on supplies for our beasts. You might say we rolled-up there. :-) It was straight after work. I had to pee and I was starving. Two conditions that tend to wear on my already frail patience. I forget most of what we bought there because we are constantly buying the necessities like food and kitty litter (which my family has now termed "cat rocks." Hey, it saves 2 whole syllables) . I do recall two unique items that we purchased during this particular shopping visit: a hooded pet bed and a cardboard, ramp-style, scratching thing. This is it:

Note the dimensions: 17.1 x 8.2 x 10.4 inches.

Ok. Todd was carrying something really heavy and large, probably a 24-pound bag of dry food or a 40-pound box of cat rocks. I had the pet bed and that scratcher thing. We may have very well had more stuff too. So we get in line. We're in line for about a minute and a new cashier comes and opens up right next to us. She says out loud, apparently to Todd, "I can take you over here." So, Todd jumps over into her lane. The lady in line in front of us kind of got pissed. I guess she figured that she was technically "ahead" of us so she should have gone into the new line first. Normally, I would agree, but I think that because Todd was so heavily burdened, the cashier spoke directly to him. So the lady gets in line behind us, slams her 2 puny items on the counter. What-ever. She is standing like 1.6 centimeters from me. Literally, breathing down my neck. I feel my RAGE level rising. I take out my Petmart discount card and debit card and pay. She gives me the receipt and my cards back. I am fumbling with putting away my cards and zipping my purse as fast as I can because the lady behind me is like OMFG ON TOP OF ME. Todd is practically out the door already. I pick up the pet bed. For some unknown reason, the cashier chose to put the scratcher thing in a bag. A bag, which, might I add, was WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY too small for it. Then, she didn't hand it to me. She put it behind her on a counter. So I had to reach over there and get it. Well, it nearly falls out of the bag and then I drop the bag. I drop the pet bed and try to pick up the bag. Meanwhile, at this point, the lady behind me is IN MY COLON. I squish the pet bed under my arm and pick up the bag with the scratcher. It falls out altogether and slides across the floor. Todd comes back in like, "What is taking you so long?" So I pick up the scratcher and out loud say:


Todd's like, "Gimme that pet bed...." So I hand it to him and he puts it under his arm. He goes, "You got everything?" And I said, "Yeah. Let's get out of here before someone ELSE gets UP MY FRIGGIN' ASS." (with the -a sound, like in "hair")

Sigh. Yes. As soon as I got outside I started laughing hysterically. You really can't take the South Philly out of the girl. And guess what? I'm kind of glad.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Cute Baby Fix

Ok so here's some pictures of Aubrey from last week. Because I am a complete idiot, I forgot to bring my camera on Halloween. Thus, I missed the opportunity to take pictures of her dressed up like a pea-pod. I hope my sister sends me one!

Anyway, here she is with my sister holding her at the baptism, wearing the sweater I made (it fit her perfectly! The booties, however, were too big.):

After a little water, a little chrism, and more than a little bit of tears, here she is asleep:

Later, we had a reception and my sister changed her into a more casual, comfortable outfit. Here's one of her many feeding times! My brother-in-law looks exhausted. Aubrey looks like a delightful little peanut!:

I just love this picture. She really looks like my side of the family: a very Italian baby!

We had a good time having them all up here. I will be heading down there to NC to look after Aubrey during the second week in December. My sister has to go back to work and the child-care person isn't contracted to start until February! So we're all pitching in to help. My mom will be staying with my sister for the whole month of January.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Caption The Cat: #6

Do you mind? I'm posing for heads of the $.03 coin of Catopia

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Frustrating and Funny At the Same Time


So I work on the third floor of what is perhaps the ugliest building on campus. People who work in the Humanities ALWAYS have the worst/ugliest/most-deficient building on any college campus. At least, that has been my experience. My department office isn't too bad. We do, however, have the foulest carpet to which I have ever born witness. My little office that is located within the department office is fine. At least I got to choose the paint color. It's a grayish blue. Very soothing. Any, boy, does it need to be, too with what I deal with on a daily basis.

Anyway, the Dean's office for my college (humanities, of course) is undergoing a major renovation. That office is located directly above my department office. Basically, they are making it look like our department office, which is: a large, open reception area surrounded by several small offices. Ok, fine. Construction has been ongoing for over a month. And once-in-a-while we can hear the jackhammers and drills, etc. from above. I have learned to tune this kind of noise out because our departmental office is also situated above the music department. The percussion classrooms in particular. Yeah. So I hear stupid off-beat drums all freakin' day. It's awesome!

So this week is, apparently, the culmination of all the work upstairs. And the construction guys need to work on plumbing, electrical, and heating issues up there...through our office...MINE in particular. Yesterday, I got kicked out of my office at about 2:00, not that I am complaining that I got to leave early. Today, my boss--- the department head---comes into my office to talk about the construction---

Goddammit they are drilling or sawing something right now outside our front door. I can barely hear myself think.

Sorry, I just had to interject that.

Anyway, my boss comes in we have the following conversation:

Boss: So this is going to be a bad week for the construction.

Me: Yes, I figured. They came in my office yesterday afternoon and I had to leave.

Boss:...oh, really?

Me: Yeah they had to move my furniture around in order to access the portion of the ceiling that they needed.

Boss: Well tomorrow they are coming back down to do more work upstairs, probably through your office and So-and-so's office next to you. (a professor)

Me: Great. Sigh.

Boss: But definitely on Friday they will be working in your office and so-and-so's office, and maybe even the office next to that. Also, Friday, in fact, they are turning off the heat and the water so they can install heat and water upstairs.

Me: Sounds like Friday is a good day for me to not be here....


Boss: ...Well...or you could dress extra warmly or wear your coat.

Me: O_o

He was fucking serious. In the middle of 3 dudes ripping through my ceiling, no heat, and no water on the entire floor, I am supposed to sit in my office?!?! And DO WHAT, exactly, pray tell? It's so ridiculously insulting and dumb that it's hilarious.

Why do Ph.D.s, for all their wealth of knowledge and education, lack all concept of common sense?

Friday, November 02, 2007

Thanks, Dishcloth Pal!

Today I received my Fall Into Autumn Dishcloth Swap package from my secret swapper. It's Barb N., all the way from Alberta, Canada! Here's a picture of the goodies:

Two dishcloths, a mini tote bag, a ball of Bernat Handicrafter, a knitting notions case, a 2008-2009 pocket planner, and some white ginger body products with a mini puff. Many thanks, Barb!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Portrait Of A Football Head

I seriously love his football head....