Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Points of sit-com information

1) Jack's younger brother, fresh from a two-year stint in the armed forces, decided to toss out small-town Texas existence and move to the Big City. To his conservative parents' chagrin, he's taken up official residence in our guest room.

2) I sleepwalk.

3) The wacky misadventures have already ensued.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Follow the bouncing balls, son

My father just sent me an e-mail, containing a link to some kind of humorous television commercial. Before I could watch it, he wrote back saying, "Wait, wait, don't open anything!" It seems that someone from his office had forwarded the link to him, not realizing that the Web site was, um, inappropriate for a viewing audience under the age of 21. The x-rated nature of the site became readily apparent when he started clicking around, looking for other funny commercials, thereby uncovering a number of colorful ads featuring big boobs and the various things you can do with them.

My dad sent me porn.

I'm disturbed on ever so many levels right now. This is almost as mortifying as the time I accidentally left an adult-oriented, alternative-lifestyle, instructional video in his VCR.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

They are not the boss of me

I was relaxing on my balcony, admiring the sunset, when four, count 'em, four bluejays landed in the tree next to my apartment.

Screw omens. Somebody bring me a shotgun.

Monday, August 21, 2006

He's dead, Jim.

I took an online quiz this morning to determine which Star Trek character I am. I'm not a Trekkie by any means, nor am I a big fan of Internet-based personality tests, but I figured it would be a fun way to kill a couple of minutes.

According to the quiz, I'm an Expendable Character in a Red Shirt.

We are not amused.

In case you're not a Trekkie, either, here's the skinny on the Red Shirts. On every episode, an "away party" of characters would beam down somewhere. The party would include two to five main characters (Kirk, Bones, Spock, Scotty, etc.), along with one extra, generally in a red Federation-issue shirt. Inevitably, an alien would attack, or there'd be an earthquake, or a shuttle would crash land, or a Tribble would come down with rabies. Everyone with a recurring role would dive out of the way and survive without a scratch, while the Red Shirt would promptly bite it. Mayflies have longer life expectancies than Red Shirts.

So that's me, then. I'm a Red Shirt. Excellent. I'd love to explore the psychological and archetypical ramifications of this topic, but my manager is on the rampage and looking for someone to maul. Conveniently, all of my co-workers have gone to lunch.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Proud Mary keep on melting

A worker in a California chocolate factory, cleaning under a vat in the kitchen, was shocked to discover a pile of chocolate drippings hardened into the shape of the Virgin Mary.

Apparently, the young woman had been dealing with a number of personal problems, and was starting to believe that God didn't exist. Her faith was renewed when she came across the small mass of chocolate, which bore a striking resemblence to the Virgen de Guadalupe prayer card she always carries with her.

And you know what? I think this is great. While my research indicates that the Vatican tends to frown on Blessed Virgin Mary sightings (and by "research," I mean watching the movie Stigmata 10,000 times), I love stories about people who find their way back to their God or Gods. Especially when the Virgin Mary is involved, since we all know how I feel about Her, right? Isis, Isis, Ra Ra Ra...

The fact that the She chose to replicate Herself in a rich n' creamy candy format is just icing on the cake. The chocolate cake.

The time has come to petition the good folks over at Chocolate Deities to create their own Virgin Mary confection: after all, if She's making little chocolate statues of Herself, it couldn't hurt to follow Her example. They already have a Sacred Heart chocolate bar, true, but that's not quite the same thing. Besides, eating a heart in any form gives me human sacrifice nightmares.

By the by, did anyone catch my hi-larious Catholic pun? If not, I'll be happy to provide helpful and/or cryptic hints.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

I thought you people had Commandments

This totally sounds like a cheesy joke in a chain e-mail, but here's what happened:

I was pulling out of my office parking lot when a mammoth SUV, cruising at a comfortable altitude of about 40 miles per hour over the speed limit, came flying at me. The driver--a slim woman in her late 30's, well-coiffed, designer sunglasses, 2-year-old in the back seat--blared her horn, swerved around next to me and hollered obscenities while shaking her fist menacingly. Then she sped up and cut me off.

Traffic suddenly slowed to a crawl, as is wont to happen on Houston roadways. I was stuck behind her, seething to a rolling boil, with nothing to do but admire the jesus-fish plaque on the back of her car.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Hoodia? Cialis? Flying Ointment?

I'm not sure what kind of dreams I was having last night, but around 3:30 this morning I bolted out of bed, wide awake, panicking because I'd forgotten to take my Witchcraft pills.

Um, yeah. I don't know, either.

Thursday, August 10, 2006


Are you guys familiar with the 11:11 phenomenon? If not, here's the gist of it. At some point during an average day, you glance at a digital clock, and the time reads 11:11. A couple of days later, you check the time on your cell phone, and it's 11:11. A few days after that, you drive past a bank and the time-and-temperature sign out front flashes 11:11. Eventually, you see 11:11 everywhere you look. You begin to suspect foul play.

The Internet is awash with 11:11 Web sites, each with its own unique interpretations, but all seem to agree that Someone or Something is trying to send a message to humanity. Aliens and angels are the most popular culprits, although I'll bet if I dig around enough, I'll find someone swearing it's a conspiracy, that the Illuminati are somehow manipulating time and space. (Silly Illuminati. When will they learn?)

Personally, I think it's all a bunch of psychosomatic, New Age horse pucky. You read an article about 11:11, or you find a Web site, or some crazy person on the street throws a pamphlet at you. Now the idea's been planted. If your conscious mind is actively dwelling on a particular concept, it's safe to assume your subconscious is playing with it, too. And since most people have some sort of awareness of time in general, around 11:00 your subconscious kicks in and starts keeping and eye out for clocks. Left unchecked, you will eventually find yourself talking to crystals and telling anyone who will listen about your indigo aura.

I've had a few 11:11 sightings here and there, and frankly, I cared as much as I did about yesterday being Wednesday (gasp) again! But check it. I walked into my office this morning and opened my e-mail, only to discover 11 new messages, all of which were time-stamped 11:11.

I still strongly maintain the whole thing is psychological, but man... that was fucking creepy.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Accessorizing the Damned

While idly thumbing through online occult catalogs, I came across a gorgeous pendant: a simple runic design, cast in sterling silver. It was elegant and affordable, and I Had To Have It. Skipping over to the phone, I called a friend and directed him to the Web site, so that he could marvel and coo along with me. He logged on and examined a couple of images, then let out a sigh.

"Evn... you know this is the emblem of the SS, right?"

For those of you not up on your World War II people and places, SS stands for Schutzstaffel, the ruthless paramilitary police force of Nazi Germany. So not only am I so clueless that I failed to recognize the symbol of one of the most cruel and inhumane organizations ever to infest the planet, but I thought their symbol was pretty.

Perhaps if I pulled my head out of NeoPagandom's ass every now and again, I wouldn't fall down so much.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

One good plug deserves another

Ted Walker is a modern philosopher and a damn fine writer. But don't take my word for it (insert Reading Rainbow theme song here): check out Exploded Views.

Read and learn, my children. There will be a test.

The oxygen masks never drop when you need them

I flew out to California this weekend (note to Deborah: my operating system got upgraded to version 2.0, if you catch my drift), and while the flight itself was uneventful, I'd like to impart some sound advice on the "dos" and "don'ts" of air travel ettiquette.

Unless you suffered from a rare gastrointestinal condition during your childhood that resulted in your spleen being replaced with an industrial ventilator, it is generally considered impolite to pass gas continuously for three and a half hours. Know that the feisty young Witch sitting next to you, burying his face in the crook of his arm and trying his best to breath through his ears, will hate you unconditionally for the rest of his life.

It would also behoove you not to remove your shoes and socks in order to pick your toes, nor is it wise to clean your ear with the cap of a ballpoint pen.

Thank you for your compliance. Please seek immediate medical attention.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Nobody here but us Pagans. I mean, chickens.

One of the big chewy beefs a lot of NeoPagans have with Christianity involves assimilation: the idea that over the centuries, Christians undermined local folk and nature religions by incorporating their practices and turning their Gods into saints. "St. Bridget was originally Brigid, the Goddess of Fire and Poetry," the NeoPagans will aver, possibly pounding on a table to accentuate their point. "Until the Church Christianized her."

The thing is, assimilation isn't really the Church's MO--historically, it's always leaned more towards smash-and-grab. So let's take a quick gander at the Real and For True (insofar as I think it's true) process by which Pagan deities wind up as Christian saints:

Christian: "Hey! Are you people worshipping false idols?"

Pagan: "Oh no, of course not. We're... uh, we're venerating... Catherine. Saint Catherine."

Christian: "Are you sure? That statue looks a lot like Cerridwen, the Welsh Mother Goddess I've been reading about."

Pagan: "No, it's definitely St. Catherine. She's, um, new. We checked."

Christian: "Well, as long as she's a saint.... carry on, then."

Pagan: "Right. Blessed be.

Christian: "Excuse me?"

Pagan: "I said, Amen."

Ain't that sneaky? Those Medieval Pagans sure were a plucky bunch of unbaptized savages. Now, as to how Brigid became St. Bridget...

Priestess 1: "Uh oh. The Christians are back."

Priestess 2: "You know, I'll bet if we tell them we're all nuns now, they won't start stabbing us again."

Priestess 1: "That's just crazy enough to work."

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Utah Drawers

My obsession with Mormon underwear began (like so many obessions do) in a dorm room, as a 20-something young miss detailed the horrors of Mormon summer camp. She'd attended when she was in high school, not realizing the camp catered to a specific religious sect until after her parents dropped her off and drove away. Once the other campers discovered she wasn't a card-carrying latter day saint, they took turns ostracizing and berating her, so much so that upon returning home she produced a short film on her mother's camcorder entitled Different Mormons, starring her stuffed toy collection.

Mormons do not come off well in this particular feature.

But I digress.

"They have special underwear," she intoned, pausing to let that sink into her captivated, undergraduate audience. "It has symbols on it, and you can't ever take it off. Ever."

This little trivia vittle fired all of my synapses at once. Special underwear? Symbols? Ever? I had to learn more. For years, whenever I met a Mormon (which doesn't happen very often, considering my social circles), I'd do my best to steer the conversation to the subject of lacy unmentionables: "Boy, these boxer shorts sure do ride up. What about yours? Any symbols you can tell me about?"

Surprising as it may sound, there aren't a lot of Mormons out there who will talk to me. Until today, that is, when I finally claimed the Holy Grail of Unattainable Smallclothes.

A casual acquaintance and I ran into each other. The "hihowareyou" catch-up conversation morphed into a religious discussion (for some reason, I brought up the Demeter statue controversy in Illinois), and he mentioned that he was Mormon. Before I could properly ground myself, years of unsatiated interest burst forth:

"Do you have the underwear?"

He paused, eyed me quizzically for a moment, then spoke.

"We call them 'garments.'"

You know that scene in Ghost where Patrick Swayze avenges his death and ascends into Heaven? It was exactly like that.

For a delectable hour, I asked highly intrusive and personal questions about the "garments," and he answered them (and no, I'm not going to repeat the entire conversation; get your own Mormon). Finally, I screwed up the courage to ask one, tiny favor.

"May I see them?"

And just so there's no confusion or doubting my motives, I didn't mean "Drop your pants, cowboy." I just didn't know if it was a Mormons-only kind of thing. I meant, "May I see them eventually, not being one of the Chosen?" or "May I see them held up in front of you on hangers?" But he took my request with aplomb.

"I don't have a set right now," he said. "But I do have a picture of me wearing them."

In the distance, a red flag unfurled in the breeze. But I was so close, so close to finally, finally having a dream fulfilled: to view, with my own eyes, the secret Mormon underwear. I mean garments. So I requested that he e-mail the picture to me, and he agreed.

We said our goodbyes, and I raced home, throwing myself in front of the computer and refreshing my inbox every .5 seconds. A few minutes later, a new message appeared. Trembling with anticipation, I clicked open the e-mail, and there, there in front of me, was my casual acquaintance sporting the long-awaited, finally undenied Mormon Underwear...

... and a raging hard-on.

It seems this particular picture was one he regularly posts on certain Web sites, where the discerning gentleman, looking for a date without that bothersome "dinner and a movie" part, can make open-minded new friends. But, he assured me, only one person had ever recognized the Mormon underwear for what it was, so there was really nothing to worry about. His secret was safe with me.

Some battles can only be won through sacrifice. Yes, I've now seen the Mormon underwear, and lived to tell the tale... but at what cost?

What cost?