Friday, August 29, 2008

Strictly non-partisan, but...

I don't do politics, as everyone knows. I just make inane observations.

So when I see pictures of the Obama campaign where this sign is so prominent... reminds me of this:

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I just remembered...

Quiana. Remember when everyone wore Quiana?

Now it's apparently a name for people. But it used to be material for shirts and dresses.

The thing about Quiana is that it would never die. You could bunch it up in a suitcase, take it out, hang it up in the shower, take a shower and it looked as good as new -- which wasn't very good to begin with since they printed some pretty hideous patterns on Quiana.

The other thing about Quiana is that it made a lot of people sweat and made the rest of us feel like we were sweating.

I don't miss Quiana. But I do think it's funny that it's something to name your kid: "This is my daughter Quiana and this is my son Gortex."

It was "Quiana", wasn't it?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I'm only posting because Dirtman keeps nagging me

There is absolutely nothing going on around here.

Oh, there is the usual adrenaline-rush-of-the-week for Dirtman. Last week the Olympics, this week the convention – and we all know how I love having a TV nattering at me non-stop.

So, other than that, and Heir 2’s never-ending quest for a full scholarship to a good math/computer college and to get through the last chapters of Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by next Tuesday, there’s really nothing to write about.

I checked out what I was writing about last August – a dangerous journey to take considering what transpired – and there were only eight entries in August: four on the puppies and four on the mushrooms I found in the African Violet on the windowsill.

The puppies are all grown and the ones that remain are gnawing happily on a rawhide bone right now (how boring) and I checked the African Violets – nothing.

I haven’t even been cooking anything particularly exciting lately. Broiled pork chops – I’m not allowed to defile them with any seasoning whatsoever – one night, chili another, Sloppy Melvins another (we don’t call them “Sloppy Joes” for obvious reasons…). Pretty run-of-the-mill fare.

Found a coupon for Coffee Mate. That was exciting.


I’m reading the sequel to Chocolat. Got it out of the library.


Here's some random photos of guys without shirts carrying dishes.

Well, guess I'll be going.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Sunday in the car

Before we begin, let me explain how I spent my childhood.

The entire time I was growing up was spent touring battlefields, following my brother John Boy through thickets and up the steep side of mountains while he read to me from some guidebook he picked up from somewhere. I have a very specific memory of following him through a hayfield as he pointed out all the sites of interest that he, at six feet tall, could see while I, at five feet tall saw nothing but hay.

Honestly, if there was some cheesy history display or map, we were there. Somewhere there are 459 pictures of me and my brothers on every canon on the Eastern Seaboard.

But – really – I’m not bitter.

Sunday started out as an excursion to Rockingham County for a brief visit to the Green Valley Book Fair, a quick stop for bulk products at the farmers’ market and a nice, relaxing dinner at Mrs. Rowe’s (formerly Evers, for you locals). I was almost happy when Dirtman told me John Boy was going to come along.

Then I remembered. John Boy does not read. He pretends to read by buying a novel every five years or so. And he will buy books, but upon closer examination you will see the books are merely lists of statistics or maps or black jack strategy.

But it was too late. Dirtman and John Boy had already hijacked my perfect relaxing day and I had played right into their devious plot by agreeing to head to Rockingham County where only the week before John Boy had discovered there was an electronic map outlining the Civil War battle movements in the Shenandoah Valley during 1862. (Ya know that look kids get when they find they’re going to Disney World? That’s the look John Boy got on his face when he found out there was an electronic map outlining the Civil War battle movements in the Shenandoah Valley during 1862.)

So here was the “equitable” plan as it was presented to me: First we visit the electronic map outlining the Civil War battle movements in the Shenandoah Valley during 1862 (EMOTCWBMITSVD1862) since it probably closes before anything, then “of course, Honey, you can visit Patchwork Plus and buy fabric! It’s your day!”, then the farmers market, then Green Valley, then lunch and then, perhaps, even a movie.

And now, Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you My Day:

This is me finding out about EMOTCWBMITSVD1862.

Actually, at this point I really didn’t mind. But I find every candid shot of me looks like I’m really ticked off at something. I’m not, though. It’s just my face.

This is John Boy hoping this is not the EMOTCWBMITSVD1862.

Turn out it wasn’t because…

This is what the map was.

And here’s some of the historic sites featured.

Let me tell you something about Rockingham County, more specifically about Dayton: There is a huge Old Order Mennonite population there. I think this was the moment I knew there was to be no Patchwork Plus (run by Mennonite women) or farmers’ market (run by Mennonite farmers) and, I had a feeling, no Mrs. Rowes (used to be run by Mennonites when it was Evers).

But there was Green Valley, but I won’t bore you with the details of the cute baby knitting pattern I scored (no I’m not, nor is anyone I know. But it’s a good, standard pattern so that if anyone is, I’m ready).

“I’m not really hungry yet,” I sighed after Green Valley. Both Dirtman and John Boy had conspired to eat a hot dog from a vendor in the parking lot so, of course, they’re not hungry yet.

What to do? What to do?

“I know what let’s do! Let’s just knock around a few Civil War battle spots and that’ll work up an appetite!” John Boy innocently suggested like it hadn’t been planned all along.

Stop #1.

Someone has an agenda that is not so much pro-Obama as anti-Republican.

I figured their “no photograph” sign was kind of like Paris Hilton flashing the camera and saying, “Don’t look at me!” Plus I was on state property.

Anyway – yup – a field.

Stop #2.

Things are looking up – the sign is bigger than the site!

Alas, it encompasses the entire hillside.

Sisiggy amuses herself in the car trying photograph herself not looking like a cranky old lady.

Turns out the only way to do that is to crop out three quarter of my head. That way I still look old, but decidedly less ticked off.

Stop #3.

Yup – another field. Fortunately, no trail. (Why is John Boy under the marker? Long story -- don't ask. But rumor has it, if you knock three times on the marker, a voice will tell you all about Abraham Lincoln.)

Stop #4.

Yup – another field. Unfortunately, a trail.

Umm…guys? Hello? Dinner?

Mrs. Rowe's closed at five.

Someone want to explain to me why a place called O’Charley’s doesn’t have Guiness on tap?

So join us next week, friends for Sisiggy’s Revenge or it’s working title: Jeanne goes thrift shopping for lots of pink frilly girlie things while Dirtman has to sit and hold her purse.

Monday, August 11, 2008

So Dark Garden will stop obsessing...

Here was the original mast head:

But when I imported it into Blogger, it was too small. So I had to make the rectangle bigger because making the whole thing bigger threw it off the side of the page, so I would have had to re-size the Hokie pic to fit more precisely and then re-size the rectangle and I do have other things I do besides this blog and I was sick of dealing with the whole thing because who, after all, looks all that closely at my mastheads, knowing that they are, after all, slapped up there any old which way because I, like, HAVE A LIFE, so no one will worry that for one stinkin' month Hokie's head is floating in space and his the tufty fur on his chest is just this clump hanging under his chin.


Thursday, August 07, 2008

I know it's "only dogs," but still...

After posting my Spot-On column mentioning how Labrador Retrievers love everybody, I can’t help commenting on the bungling (at least I hope it was bungling and not deliberate) of the Prince George’s County (Md.) Sheriff’s Department regarding a raid on a local mayor’s house.

Yeah, yeah, it’s upsetting that the SWAT team overlooked the fact that they didn’t have a no-knock warrant and burst into the Calvo home guns ablazin’. And I’m sure Dark Garden, a member of the brotherhood himself, will defend the action of shooting the two Labrador Retriever pets as standard procedure when executing said warrant, had that warrant actually existed.

But how do they justify the fact that one of the dogs was running away?

You can read about the nuances of the case in The Washington Post – why, for instance, a judge probably wouldn’t have issued a no-knock warrant and why a package full of marijuana could have been shipped to Calvo’s address (to his wife, specifically) without his knowledge:

Special Agent Edward Marcinko, a spokesman for the Drug Enforcement Administration in Maryland, said it is not unheard of for traffickers to ship a package to a stranger's home.
In February, for instance, Dunn Loring resident Sid Phillips said his 76-year-old neighbor opened a UPS package left on his porch and discovered marijuana packed in vacuum-sealed pouches inside.
Phillips said the neighbor called him for advice, and the two of them reported the discovery to police. Officers swarmed the house and collected the drugs without incident. The package, Phillips said, had been sent from Arizona, just like the box delivered this week to Calvo in Maryland.

I do find it rather amusing that Calvo said when he returned home he noticed the black vehicles all over the street. So much for stealth.

I wonder, though. Had those dogs been, say, Chihuahuas or Toy Poodles, would they have been “presumed” dangerous? Who decides the criteria of what to shoot at? An old deaf dog sleeping in its bed? A litter of puppies?

‘Pode, I have a feeling, would be toast.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


My mother-in-law bought this for us because it reminded her of Dirtman and John Boy building the fence out back.

But...what is that they're burying?


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

It was a weekend, so...

Another Linguini gathering, this one for Heir 1's birthday (it was his birthday, in case the last post didn't sufficiently hit you over the head with that fact...).

As you know, I love homemaking blogs and try to achieve the beauty and grace represented by these lovely slices of life...

A Lovely Centerpiece using natural plant matter

...but I always somehow miss the mark. Sigh.

Still, we all managed a...uh...good time..., really...

John Boy served.

Sadly, the soccer ball and croquet set went unused. Dark Garden, Beth and the Twin Progeny spent the day in the ER staring at Progeny 1, who ended up with an appendectomy. Some people will do anything to avoid party games...

Monday, August 04, 2008

Indulge a mother for a moment...(sniffle)

Yesterday a child came out to wonder

Caught a dragonfly inside a jar

Fearful when the sky was full of thunder

And tearful at the falling of a star

Then the child moved ten times round the seasons

Skated over ten clear frozen streams

Words like, when you're older, must appease him

And promises of someday make his dreams

Sixteen springs and sixteen summers gone now

Cartwheels turn to car wheels thru the town

And they tell him, take your time, it wont be long now

Till you drag your feet to slow the circles down

So the years spin by and now the boy is twenty

Though his dreams have lost some grandeur coming true

There'll be new dreams, maybe better dreams and plenty

Before the last revolving year is through

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We're captive on the carousel of time
We can't return, we can only look behind
From where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game

Joni Mitchell

Friday, August 01, 2008

Put me through some changes, Lord; Just like a Waring blender

Well I lay my head on the railroad tracks
Waitin' on the Double E
But the train don't run by here no more
Poor, poor pitiful me

Warren Zevon

Neighbor/landlord complaining and threatening (yelling and shaking his fist...why?) about a dog who didn't do anything; lost every piece of ceramic and pottery off my mantle when they all spontaneously and without cause flung themselves to the floor; and now I'm waiting for what's coming next.

I let my guard down over the past month, getting all cozy and homey and forgetting my place as the universe's doormat.

Yes, welcome the the bitter, self-absorbed side of Sisiggy. It appears every now and then whenever it all hits the fan and the fan is aimed at me. And, honestly, if there wasn't enough other crap hanging over my head, these occurrences would barely score a "blip" on my depression-o-meter.

But...why the over-kill? Are there no pedophiles or mass murders to give shingles to or, perhaps, letting the toilets overflow in the home of a telemarketer or an e-mail spammer?

Certainly there are more deserving miscreants out there to inflict further misery upon rather than wasting it all on a powerless middle-aged housewife whose primary sin against society was not marrying for money or promise of familial inheritance (do not get me started down this line of reasoning and certainly not now...I am surrounded by families who were given their land or house by "Mee-Maw and Pee-Paw," information to which I would normally say a good-natured, "Lucky you and Godspeed*;" but, right now, with 'Pode in jeopardy and an empty mantle, it really pisses me off.).

Anyone still with me? Really? Well, then, join me, won't you?

Poor, poor pitiful me
Poor, poor pitiful me
Lord have mercy on me
Woe, woe is me.

*I lied. I've never used the word "Godspeed" in my life.

Cucuzza is so crazy over me

By way of disclaimer, my sister-in-law Beth and I get along really, really well. The perfect indication of this is that I have absolutely no qualms about mentioning her on the blog.

And for the past few days she has put up with Heir 2, Dark Garden and the Twin Progeny in her house, all at the same time -- without Valium.

And then, when Heir 2 was heading out the door, she handed him a bag of cucuzza, which he dutifully brought home to me.

Truly, I was happy with the cucuzza, cucuzza bella -- we put it in a sort of primavera over penne and there was much rejoicing and feasting.

However at the bottom of the bag -- sitting at the bottom of the bag, at the bottom of the bottom of the bag -- was a strange orb of questionable heritage.

This growth, so out of character for the middle of the summer, upset the innocents of Casa Linguini to the point of panic, causing Heir 2 to snatch it from Caisee's hands, throw himself on top of the gourd and scream, "IT'S NOT NATURAL!"

Upon further investigation we learned that this is, in fact, a variety of acorn squash. But -- wait -- acorn squash is an autumnal vegetable. So we've (using the "royal 'we'") have come up with a theory: The cucuzza was sent with all well wishes and hopes of prosperity and feasting. But the white orb...that freak of nature...that genetic anomally...was sent because Beth didn't know what the hell to do with it either.

The trauma required the consumption of an entire bottle of Australian cabernet sauvignon, making this month's calendar picture and caption rather poignant.

"Suddenly -- and tragically -- the medication wore off."