Thursday, May 25, 2006

Memorial Weekend Launching Sequence ... Activated

This is going to be a fairly random post, because I'm busy fretting over three things: 1) we have bird families* nesting in our house / hanging baskets on the porch and major remodeling is imminent; 2) I have to finish my final grant for the season by next week and it's nowhere near ready for prime time; and, 3) I need to come up with a new beginning, a new ending, and some other brand new scenes for Riding with Larry and return the whole shebang to my editor by August first. I wish I could just say, "Creativity, Activate!" and start channeling brilliance, but unfortunately, lately I'm feeling as clever as a tomato plant. (See what I mean? That was the best analogy I could think of. I looked out the window, saw my tomato plants, and thought, Hey! They're not so clever. Use them! Stupid tomatoes. Hehe.)

So on with the randomness. First, the other night as I left work I caught myself saying to a coworker, "We'll see you tomorrow!" And it gave me pause. "We'll?" Am I now speaking for two people? Could I BE any more Wisconsin-ey? I've become a plural! Recently I saw a program on the Discovery Channel called Vanished Twins, about how one fetus absorbs its twin in utero, and the absorbed one becomes a parasite living off of the other. So, technically, I could be speaking for me and the parasitic twin I absorbed in my mother's womb when I say "We'll."

Oh my god that last sentence has effectively kicked my appetite into next week. My ovaries just slammed the door shut and flipped over the "Gone Out of Business" sign.

Moving on.

This week I had a few Googlers end up on my site via the following searches: "Little Debbie Look-Alike Contest," "Wal Mart Put the Wrong Oil in my Car," "Christian Bale Look Alike," "Larry Resnick Furniture," and "Funny Things that Have Happened in Chinese Restaurants." From these searches I can deduce that the first individual may be a stage mother; the second was likely furious, the third may have been horny, the fourth was looking for a good deal on a sofa, and the fifth person was bored and someone I might like to have lunch with at China King.

And guess what else? I finally joined the rest of you in the twenty-first century. I bought a cell phone! Let the paranoia about radiation near my head commence! Last night we saw The DaVinci Code and before the movie started a public-service announcement scrolled across the screen: "Please Turn Your Cell Phones Off!" And I got all warm and fuzzy, thinking, They're finally talking to me, too! I'm part of the club! But my fellow movie-goers had no reason to worry; I'm still working up the courage to turn my phone on and actually ... leave it on.

Finally, here are two more album covers to take you through the long holiday weekend.

And now lives in an assisted living facility in eastern Texas! Something tells me that if I listened to this album, I'd wish that my auditory ossicles and inner ear cochlea were paralyzed so they could not transmit the sound of Mr. Ingles's voice to my brain.

Thanks for the reminder, Redd! I think I should tape this picture to my computer screen to remind me during marathon blogging episodes that there is a magical invention on the second floor of my house. It is called a shower. And I should step into it at least every other day to wash. Just my ass, though. Any more than that would be excessive.

Have fun "frying out" this weekend. See, that's what they call "grilling out" in southeastern Wisconsin. But there's no vat of hot oil, no Fry Daddy in sight. Only a smoking grill piled with hamburgers and bratwurst. Makes no sense, does it? But if you drive anywhere around here on a weekend, you'll see signs along the highway advertising local "Brat Fry" fundraisers. If you're an out of state visitor passing through on a roadtrip with your kids and they won't stop kicking your seat, you can tell them that in Wisconsin, naughty children are burned at the stake and the whole town comes out to watch these Brats Fry. Try it! You won't hear a single "Are we there yet?" again until Wall Drug.

*Chickadee update: remember how on Sunday I plugged the hole in our house I thought the chickadees were building a nest in? And how I felt so awful at their distress that I unplugged it? Well it's a damned good thing I did! Because guess what. There were babies in that hole, and they fledged onto the lawn this morning. There are five healthy little black and white fluffballs. Mom and Dad chickadee are feeding the babies right outside my window as I write this. Unfortunately, J has his camera at work, so if they're still there this evening, I'll post a picture. Damn they're cute.

Update, Friday morning: I'm very sad to report that we had a heavy, cold rainfall last night, and none of the chickadees made it. I'm hopeful that mom and dad will still have time to hatch one more brood before summer's over.

Update again, Monday afternoon: The chickadee parents are building another nest in our wall. Fingers crossed for those cute little buggers.


  1. Good for those chickadees - you saved their lives! (Unlike me killing a squirrel on Sunday!)

    The "Brat Fry" thing was hilarious -- I don't know why I've never read "brat"wurst that way before! LOVING IT!

    Have a great holiday weekend!

  2. Brat! we call 'frying out' and 'grilling out', 'cooking out' here.

  3. If I had any creativity I would channel it to ya. But you realize that we all think you're full of crap when you say stuff like that - cuz if you aren't making me laugh out loud, then you're making me weep from the poignancy. I am, however, feeling your panic all the way out here, and it's making me a little nauseous.

    But on a lighter note: Yah for chickadees!

  4. By the way, I had been wondering how people were finding out that others had found their site through searching such-and-such through Google - and then I was just looking through my Sitemeter page and found that same info! People recently found me through using such lovely search terms as "my workplace won't pay me," "boring things to annoy people with," and "wart wart wart" - HA!

  5. Anonymous2:03 PM

    Whoa. You narrowly escaped a serial killer moment. And you do NOT want to be haunted by Chickadee ghosts. Those buggers will peck the crap out of you.

    Thanks for the hygiene reminder.

  6. Anonymous2:21 PM

    Welcome to the world where you are now always available (the cell phone). It's good for the most part.

    Have a great weekend. Down here is all BBQ baby!

  7. OMFG. That Redd Foxx album is KILLING ME. I'm wiping the tears of laughter away...

  8. Anonymous3:09 PM

    Oh my god, those poor chickadees. I'm so glad you let them out. No wonder the parents were squawking like that.

    What is Redd Foxx holding in that album cover photo? Do I even want to know?

  9. I'm the last one without a cell phone...sigh. Still don't want one, but I'm sure it will happen, sooner or later.

    Redd is holding a donkey tail up, showing the ass's ass. :) Too funny.

    Whew on the chikadees. Don't think you get good karma for killing little birdies, though probably not TOO bad, since you wouldn't have even known about it.

  10. Anonymous3:36 PM

    you gotta wash your ass.

    aint that the truth.

    but now, be sure not to use the same LOOFA for you ass as you do your face. that would be DIRTY!

    omg. the talk of you and your parasitic twin...WAS AWESOME. please..more of that more often. right up my alley.

  11. Yay! Baby Chickadees. I had a feeling that was going to happen.

    Where the hell did you find those album covers?! They are too damn funny.

  12. I LOVE Wonder Twins!

  13. Anonymous10:16 PM

    Ok so they want you to change the beginning, the ending & more different scenes in the middle? WTF? What's left then? :( I guess, you could call me on your new CELL PHONE (welcome to 1997, btw :p ) and we could brainstorm. Beans & Barley misses you...

    So what does a vegetarian eat during a cookout? "Frying out" Oostburg Girl used to say that. You remember her. She made a comment about moving to "the city" at her wedding to my cousin. She meant Sheboygan. bwahaha

    Congrats on not killing the baby birdies, can't wait for pics!!

  14. Oh my gosh - the pressure! Good luck w/the book.

    Ew - about your "twin" LOL

    And please tell me your dog isn't like my dog and will never eat your poor poor birdies.

    One last thing. I like your "frying out". When I was a kid in Chicago, we called it a "cook out". But now? I never know what it's called anymore, so I just call it a bar-b-que.

    Have a fantastic weekend!

  15. Anonymous10:56 AM

    We actually have one of those Cajun Blowtorch outdoor fryers that's big enough to deep fry a Turkey, so at times, we actually do "fry out". How redneck is that?

  16. You are more clever than a tomato plant but you are as big a bummer as most Russian authors. Great funny post until you left me obsessing about the frozen? drowned? chickadees that didn't make it. Now I suppose you'll make a joke about a chickadee fry.

  17. "So, technically, I could be speaking for me and the parasitic twin I absorbed in my mother's womb when I say "We'll."" That is some twisted thinking girl.

    I'm sorry about the birds! You did everything you could though.

    Have a great weekend!

  18. Hey Jess, My robins nest got knocked down by a windy cold rainy night. It is a bad time to be a bird.

  19. Anonymous5:30 PM

    I am hoping for your amazing creative flows returns (although I found it mighty creative referring to tomatoes because they are rather mindless!)

    Have a great weekend and congrats on the babies (birds that is!)

  20. Anonymous6:03 PM

    So sorry to hear about the chickadees.

    I think you are using WE in the royal sense. The same way Queen Elizabeth talks about herself. Very regal.

  21. I'm baaaack... finally posted that fab pic of me in 1988 - check it out.

  22. Anonymous7:41 AM

    Seriously, where do you come up with these album covers! Too funny.

  23. We am sitting alone right now thinking about what we am going to do my myself this weekend. We am hoping you all is having a nice weekend. :)

  24. Wow...sorry about the baby birds... :(

  25. Your update was a real downer Jess. Dying animals never seals up a funny post well.

    Sorry about the birdies. Really. I saved a fly from Ranch dressing once. So...I KNOW.

    I feel you on the "GO GO GADGET CREATIVITY!". It is pressure. Why do you need to re-write so much? Did you editor require this? Is this normal?

    I'm feeling all angsty for you.

    Also, I guess you do look a bit like Little Debbie. ;)

  26. Ack. Dying chickadees and parasitic twins - that's some high-brow eduhmuhcashunal stuff.

    Wanna know my creativity potion? Drink a beer and sit in a public place taking notes for 15 minutes. Pick the first two people you see and write a conversation between them. Actually, I just made that up - but tell me if it works, because I need something right about now...

  27. Those album covers are PRICELESS! omg...omg...I love them.

    And the tomato analogy - or was it a metaphor - was inspired, I don't care if it was inspired by the tomato outside our window. It could very well have been a string bean and then I'd have to give it the thumb's down. ;-)

    I hope the muses visit you regarding your rewrites. I usually found mine in a large pot of coffee, but alas, I'm caffeine free these days.

    P.S. I'm so sorry about the chickadees. I get very attached to our bird guests.

  28. Anonymous10:35 AM

    Poor chickadees. I hope momma and daddy bird are able to produce some more.

    And yeah, I also want to know what the heck Redd Foxx is pointing to. Is it an elephant's butt?

  29. Since when did Redd Fox ever make public service announcements? Have you given the album a listen? I'm curious to see if he's singing or talking.....
    Loved the Brat Fry! Here in eastern Iowa, we call it a cookout or we grill out. Just out of curiosity, do they call the drinking fountain a "bubbler"?

  30. Sorry about the birds but happy about the grilling. I wish we were doing that!

  31. My husband lived in Green Bay and Milwaukee for several years and loved it. He took me on a trip to Door County and Baraboo for a week and we had a blast. We also stopped in Sheboygan on the trip back to the airport for "the best brats in the world." There's something about Wisconsin that we both absolutely love. Although I'm not so sure about the winters there... :)

  32. This post gave some very wise advice. You really MUST wash your ass. Please don't forget that this Memorial Day weekend.

  33. Damn that Mother Nature, she can be a cold-hearted old b*tch. But YAY that the chickadee parents are toughing it out!

  34. I am still trying to wrap my brain around the twin story....

  35. Great post, Jess..hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend.

  36. I hope these new birdies make it.

    Where do you find these album covers?

  37. Auditory Ossicles??? hey?? Wha?? I an't hear you.

    Or was it oditory ossicles? Who knows.

    Momma nature is cruel at the best of times, but we do what we can, right?