If you have a final research project proposal to write and you’ve been editing some drafts of blog posts about it that are helping you organize your thoughts and remember how the project developed, that doesn’t count as procrastination!

Watching a video of koala bears fighting, however, does qualify as procrastination. Just so we’re clear.


Back to my project proposal…and those blog posts…maybe I’ll even get one posted tonight or tomorrow.

Having rheumatoid arthritis and other painful conditions means a lot of time slogging through physical therapy.

On fairly quiet afternoon recently, there were only four of us at the gym. Me, an octogenarian couple we’ll call Lewis and Bethany, and a guy we’ll call The Marine. Because, as you’ll learn if you keep reading, he’s a marine.

If you aren’t familiar with the characters Lewis and Bethany from Christmas Vacation, the first 90 seconds of this a little clip will help you visualize what transpired at the gym a bit better:

The Marine is one of the guys at our gym who passive-aggressively complains under his breath about everyone and everything not being up to his standards. All. The. Time. Nothing is ever good enough. His favorite refrain is how no one sufficiently wipes down the machines with disinfectant when they’re done using them. He never speaks up to other people, he just mutters under his breath. The Marine is obsessed with hygiene. Apparently, The Marine can actually see germs with his naked eye.

The Marine, incidentally, uses the gym-supplied towels as his own personal snot rags.

The Marine hoarks gigantic gobs of mucous from his throat and expels big gobs of snot from his nostrils into the gym-supplied towels. Throughout his entire workout.

Every workout, I’d wager, considering the number of times I’ve witnessed these delightful displays of dislodgment.

(Always wipe your face with your sleeve when you are at the gym. Never use gym-supplied towels for anything personal. Ever. At any gym).

Clearly, on the day in question, The Marine’s passive-aggressiveness had pushed Bethany too far. Her voice cuts through pretty much anything except White Zombie so I heard her say something indistinct, but it was louder and more forceful than usual so I turned to make sure Lewis wasn’t lying on the floor having a heart attack or something.

She and The Marine were about to rumble.

“You’re disgusting!”

That is when The Marine turned to her and barked, “I’m. A. Marine.”

Bethany was not impressed.*

Bethany replied, “So? I’m a Keebler Elf. She’s the Easter Bunny. He’s…” I didn’t hear what Lewis was because I was so stunned that she’d just outed me as the Easter Bunny. “And we all think you’re unhygienic so knock it the hell off.”

Lewis then chimed in, “Why does she always get to be the Easter Bunny?”

I was very glad to be on my way out at that point. I barely kept it together long enough to get to the locker room, then I laughed until I cried.

Later, I was a bit concerned when it occurred to me that it’s possible Lewis and Bethany have some sort of elaborate fantasy world wherein I play a role. As the Easter Bunny.


*I was going to make a joke here about how Bethany might be an actual Daughter of the American Revolution, but that wouldn’t be nice, so I won’t. But I wanted to. The elderly are a treasure. Also, I’m pretty sure Bethany knows where I live.

I have so-called affinity license plates. I’m pretty sure the only place you can get valid license plates is through the DMV. I mention this because over the last few months several people have asked me where I got my license plates.

The best answer I’ve come up with so far is, “I made them myself…in prison.”

You may be able to get personalized, legal postage stamps now but I’m pretty sure license plates are like driver’s licenses, they need to be issued from a government agency to be valid. I just don’t think you want everyone to be able to manufacture plates, even if the state still issues the tag number.

Now that I’ve seen this post on Cajun Boy in the City, I don’t know if I think every state should be allowed to manufacture plates. Aren’t there any grownups in the Florida Legislature?

This is a mockup of the plate the Florida Senate has proposed:

Religious License Plate

I need to go lay down now.

Last year we had a close call with a McDonald’s iced coffee while on a road trip. It was undrinkable, and that turned out to be okay.

Recently, while checking out coffeerama, Husband ran across a link to a review which can be summed up with the words explosive diarrhea. And that reviewer referenced many more reviews that had similar, um, outcomes.

And yet, people keep drinking the stuff. On purpose.

This post may be my favorite:

“I got sick the first two times, but I think I got used to it and I don’t notice it any more. The stuff is pretty much an intense laxative though… so make sure there is a restroom nearby. Seriously. Its difficult to explain the effect this will have on your body. Tastes amazing. Nice and cheap. McDonalds is the best restaurant ever. I limit myself to 1 per week though because its just so bad for you. But it sure tastes good.”
Posted by: Cory | March 28, 2008 at 12:39 PM

If you ever need to test a box of tasers or need someone to check periodically to see if the stove is still hot, Cory may well be your ideal candidate.

Dude, when things make us sick, it’s the body’s way of saying “stop drinking that” not “let’s keep doing this until we can endure the obviously unpleasant side effects.”

I have the ability to apply a mental filter that enables me to not only tune out, but deny the actual existence, of certain things – Grateful Dead songs and Microsoft commercials being the most critical. Consequently, I missed a profoundly inane Microsoft video promoting a product called Songsmith until I saw a post about it on the Contrarian’s blog. Like Casey, I can’t decide if this is a hamfisted attempt at being ironic, or if it’s just hamfisted. I do know it’s way too long. And stupid. Also, that anyone who showed up in a coffee shop and sang into their laptop would probably be beaten to a pulp.

After I started this post I was catching up on some mailing-list mail and saw this being discussed on a music industry list, which led me to some pretty amusing videos of popular songs put through Songsmith. There are a lot of them (where have I been?) but in a quick survey (read: I listened to the first 30 seconds of 2 or 3 of them) I found Van Halen’s “Running with the Devil” to be rather amusing.

Not nearly as amusing, however, as Husband’s highschool friends, the Legion of Rockstars, whose YouTube contributions once made me laugh so hard I almost died from the hiccups I got. Er, that might not be much of an endorsement. According to a previous post I made about them, “…their performance of Van Halen’s “Jump” is also very, very funny. Maybe even funnier than Journey. Stick with it to the guitar and keyboard “solos” at the end. That’s quality.” So there you have it. I don’t know what you have, but that’s not really my problem.

On a related note, it doesn’t look like I can declare victory in my quest to restore my archives just yet – a search just revealed that all of the Microsoft Bob posts (circa 2003) are MIA. So close…

The next time you stare down a conveyor belt of slow-moving, hot, sugary glazed donuts at your local Krispy Kreme you just might be supporting President-elect Barack Obama’s radical support for abortion on demand – including his sweeping promise to sign the Freedom of Choice Act as soon as he steps in the Oval Office, Jan. 20.

That’s the opener for a press release from the American Life League. I’m going to copy/paste the rest because this seems like something that someone is going to try to make go away when they realize how stupid they sound:

by Katie Walker
Released January 15, 2009

Washington, DC (15 January 2009) – The following is a statement from American Life League president, Judie Brown.

“The next time you stare down a conveyor belt of slow-moving, hot, sugary glazed donuts at your local Krispy Kreme you just might be supporting President-elect Barack Obama’s radical support for abortion on demand – including his sweeping promise to sign the Freedom of Choice Act as soon as he steps in the Oval Office, Jan. 20.

The doughnut giant released the following statement yesterday:

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Inc. (NYSE: KKD) is honoring American’s sense of pride and freedom of choice on Inauguration Day, by offering a free doughnut of choice to every customer on this historic day, Jan. 20. By doing so, participating Krispy Kreme stores nationwide are making an oath to tasty goodies — just another reminder of how oh-so-sweet “free” can be.
Just an unfortunate choice of words? For the sake of our Wednesday morning doughnut runs, we hope so. The unfortunate reality of a post Roe v. Wade America is that “choice” is synonymous with abortion access and celebration of ‘freedom of choice’ is a tacit endorsement of abortion rights on demand.

President-elect Barack Obama promises to be the most virulently pro-abortion president in history. Millions more children will be endangered by his radical abortion agenda.

Celebrating his inauguration with “Freedom of Choice” doughnuts – only two days before the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision to decriminalize abortion – is not only extremely tacky, it’s disrespectful and insensitive and makes a mockery of a national tragedy.

A misconstrued concept of “choice” has killed over 50 million preborn children since Jan. 22, 1973. Does Krispy Kreme really want their free doughnuts to celebrate this “freedom.””

As of Thursday morning, Communications Director Brian Little could not be reached for comment. We challenge Krispy Kreme doughnuts to reaffirm their commitment to true freedom – to the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – and to separate themselves and their doughnuts from our great American shame.”

American Life League was cofounded in 1979 by Judie Brown. It is the largest grassroots Catholic pro-life organization in the United States and is committed to the protection of all innocent human beings from the moment of creation to natural death. For more information or press inquiries, please contact Katie Walker at 540.659.4942.

You just can’t make shit like this up.

I need to go buy a box of donuts now in solidarity with poor Krispy Kreme….

I was at the gym unsuccessfully ignoring two women beside me on stationary bikes. One was leafing through the Washington Post Health section, reading the stories about the “pathetic losers with big medical bill” aloud to the other, along with other bits of snide commentary. Then, she read this part of a reader-submitted column which is a first-person account of living with MS:

I quickly learned that MS is a chronic autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the brain and spinal cord, destroying the protective myelin sheath that insulates nerve fibers. No one knows the cause of MS, and there is no cure. It was a devastating diagnosis, especially for a competitive figure skater.

I have a relapsing form of MS, in which I have periodic exacerbations that cause vision loss, numbness, tremors and vertigo. I have these flare-ups once or twice a year; otherwise, I’m largely in remission, except for extreme fatigue. I’m one of many whose MS is largely invisible.

And then she added, “Please, lady. Call me when you have a real disease like breast cancer. Then you’ll know what it’s like to live with a chronic condition.”

I’m happy to report that the woman on the other side of them, who I hadn’t even noticed, gave them the verbal ass-kicking they so richly deserved. Among other choice recommendations, she suggested that they learn the definitions of the words “empathy” and, oh, gee, maybe “chronic condition” while they’re at it.