Monday, January 31, 2005

From the "Make you blink twice" files...

The school and the person shall remain nameless but the person has been attending this particular school off and on since the late 1970s.

The most recent transcript had the date of their first admission as...

The Beginning of Time

I kid you not, folks... I am not making this up.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Once upon a time....

There was a lovely Countess making her way through the local mega-mart. Her servant had the afternoon off which left said woman to grocery shop on her own. “Wait.. what servant?”

On with the story… pushing the over-sized gray cart down the peanut butter and jelly aisle (because, as you know PB&J now takes up at least ½ of the aisle at almost every grocery store), our Countess encountered some of the common folk of the realm. And by common, I do mean stinky.

“Like they hadn’t bathed in days!” the Countess recounted over iced Thai tea and some fabulous mango sticky rice creation. “Chemical weapons grade stink.”

A small force of produce department workers took a stand behind the banana and potato stand to launch a counter-offensive stink. The original offenders moved to either end of the aisle to defend their territory by waving their reeking coats and wafting the smell of.. of… B.O. that can barely be imagined over aisles 3, 4, and 5.

The first launch – tomatoes. If they can get out skunk stink, maybe they will help. Tomato after tomato flew through the air. They smashed all over the floor and got wedged between jars of mint jelly and orange chutney. A rousing cheer was heard when one of the offenders was pelted by a series of small roma tomatoes. And one goes down!

“You will never take me alive!” shouts the second offender, still holding his ground but having removed his shoes. The stench was so pungent that it nearly wiped out the commando unit that was crawling down aisle 5. The leader of the unit fell down, unconscious… a bottle of Febreze clutched in his hand. The second person continued to crawl forward, inching to the end cap where the offender was wildly waving his stinky shoes.

“We have you now! DIE STINK DIE!!!!” as the commando jumped around the cereal boxes and doused the offender with Febreze and Oust Air Freshner.

- Cough, Wheeze, Cough, Cough – as the offender dropped back. He hissed and yelled.

“You would have thought he was a vampire being hit by garlic or sunlight. It was horrible yet no one turned away. We were compelled to watch as the offender fell back onto his accomplice and passed out,” the Countess said. “After all of that, I still didn’t buy peanut butter.”

“Clean up on aisle 4,” the manager announced over the loud speaker. And all returned to normal in the local mega-mart.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Caption Contest

Yes, I know I never announced a winner from the last one. Let's just move on from it...

Thanks to a vintage ad site, I think I'm going to have caption contest fodder for quite some time.

Pick a person and tell me what they are saying or describe what is going on in the picture. As always, please keep it safe for work!

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Nothing surprises me...

Nothing that my former boss does anyway. Getting his wish, he made the national news but not for something important... like TennCare reform.

For the fact that he keeps two separate families. Funny, the article didn't mention the 15 other kids that he's gone to court over and the girl here in Nashville that he sleeps with. Must have slipped his mind.

The Countess Gives the Ladies a Turn

Over at Countess Elena's, the ladies may wax eloquent in answering their version of the informal poll. (To get to the blog, click on the link labelled "Elena's Polka Dotted Sky" in PK's blog roll to the right. Sorry...I'm woefully ignorant of HTML. I'll get some lessons from PK.)

Edited by the Empress: Linkie to the direct post.

Happy Birthday!

to TXMom2Jami!

Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday TxMom! Happy Birthday to you!

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Best Crap on TV

And the award goes to MTV's new show "My Super Sweet 16."

My high school years were bad enough trying to keep up with the Joneses at my own school but now, it's gone national! The two clips I saw showed the mom asking a 16 year old boy in attendance about her dress.

"I thought I should go strapless. What do you think?"

Well, I think that is really gross.

And moment #2 was in the preview of a young woman planning her party.. including shirtless men, being carried on a settee, and proclaiming "If he doesn't get me a car, I will never speak to him again!"

And he just might say "Good..." or buy her a used Kia "Here's your car.. happy birthday sweetie!"

Now THAT would be good television.

Monday, January 24, 2005

The Countess Wants to Know

Gentlemen of the court, Countess Elena is taking an informal poll over at her place: She would love for you to come over, peruse the blog entry, and leave your comments (keep 'em SFW).

A poll for the ladies is coming soon.

Ciao, dahlinks!

Edited by the Empress: Here is the link to the direct post.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Overheard in Nashville

I was out shopping this afternoon and was wandering through Off 5th (Saks outlet store) and heard this woman say...

"Money is no object."

And I think I heard the sales clerk have the big O just after that.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Stirring up a hornet's nest

Miss O'Hara did just that by setting out some guidelines to dressing well for women. It was a companion post to Blake's Guide to Dressing Up for Guys.. which was all prompted by my post on metrosexuality.

So it was all my fault. :)

I would like to include my full, un-edited comment that went up on Miss O'Hara's blog. I toned it down because darn Elena for posting just before me and being so civil! In all it's snarky glory:

Allow me to summarize the overall tone of this “debate”:

I don’t want to dress up and I’m going to find every excuse I can to not do so. I will hide behind Scripture. I will hide behind my job. I will say I don’t have enough money. Anything to not have to get out of a wife beater and my ugly jeans.

60 years ago, ladies our grandmother’s age were also school teachers. They didn’t wear icky clothes to work on the pretense of having to roll around with the kids. It may not be as absurd as Leave it to Beaver but I agree with Miss O’Hara. Always be presentable. You never know who you are going to meet. Dress for the occasion.

When you go to the gym, you don’t have to wear a ratty, holey t-shirt and nasty shorts. You don’t have to wear a super-tight outfit either. Both types are saying something. One says “I’m dressing this way to get you to notice my hot bod.” The other is saying “I’m dressing this way to scare you away.” The latter will also generally come back with vitriolic comments about noticing people for their good qualities. When you have that much anger about not caring how you look and you aren’t out to impress people.. well, you are impressing people.. and they are just going to keep on walking.

You can wear a nice t-shirt and shorts. They cover and they allow freedom to move.

When you are lounging, again, you can buy nice things at Target for $13 – another cute little t-shirt and jammy pants. Style does NOT have to come from high-end boutiques or department stores.

Would you translate personal sloppiness to your home? I cannot recall where I read it specifically but I read in a Christian magazine a couple of years back that your home should look as though you were inviting Jesus in for a meal. It is being a good steward of your resources – maintaining your home. Would you invite ANYONE over, let alone our Savior, and your home is unkempt? I doubt it. Most people are embarrassed when others come over to see the mess in the living room. “We are painting in this room.” or some other excuse is offered to cover it up.

Instead of offering up legitimate counter points, several of you have decided to use attacks on Miss O’Hara by calling her shallow and conceited. How about this: Miss O’Hara chooses to dress differently than you do. And she has an opinion about personal style that is different from yours. So, tell me, what is yours instead of calling people names?

The vitriolic nature of the responses shows me that maybe, just maybe, some of you are insecure in how you look. Some have advised to focus on what’s important – character, inner beauty. I agree, whole-heartedly. It’s hard work to push past our nature that is so visually attuned to look at what’s inside. But do you get nervous around a homeless person? I do. That is my own area of weakness. I struggle to look them in the eye as I would anyone else on the street. But my eyes will also drift if I see someone dressed better than me. I won’t go up to them either. “I’m beneath them.” It runs both ways.

Several have cited they met their husbands at the gym or other non-dressy place. OK… but did you wear your work out clothes the entire time you were courting? Did you EVER put on something nice because you were going out?

It is being a good steward of your resources to dress appropriate to the situation and for what you can afford. Your shoes to not have to come from Manolo Blahnik. Target has great shoes for $20. Don’t go into debt over your clothes – that is definitely not a good idea. I doubt anyone online shops at Goodwill because they have to. If you do and you are online, then maybe you should re-examine your financial priorities.

Or more succinctly: Bloody h*ll. What is going on here? Another person said for Miss O'Hara to call when she railed against tight clothing with the thong sticking out. I believe I addressed that to some degree in my "say no to track suits" post. But I will say – a woman’s skirt should cover her naughty bits when she sits in a chair. That’s just disgusting otherwise. *shudder*

Even our resident redneck Nate has one nice shirt. I saw the picture from the picnic.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Old Car, New Name

The Countess visited Nate's blog and enjoyed his explanation of how and why men name their cars, boats, ships, motorcycles, and other beloved man toys. Nate speculated that women name their cars after guys. The Countess does not know if this practice is universal, but she has a story to share about her car.

Ebeneezer Cruise, a hunter green '96 Honda Accord LX, was purchased in 2001. Since the Countess was rather late in life getting her driver's license (long, LONG story) and purchasing a car, she had saved up a good amount of money and could afford a decent, though not luxe, car. God's presence (she talked aloud to him a LOT on the interstate) and her sister helped Elena defeat her fear of driving, so she named the car after the stone Samuel set up after a key battle the Israelites won over the Philistines. Naming the stone Ebeneezer, "the stone of help," Samuel stated, "Thus far has the LORD helped us." (See 1 Samuel 7.) The name certainly fit the Countess's experience! The last name Cruise was added by a co-worker. (No reference to Mr. Tom.)

Four years later, Ebeneezer is a bit more of a geezer: iffy air conditioning, a couple of sensor lights out, a large and rust-enhanced dent in the driver side door, a front end bent up into the air, a large black piece of plastic from under the front end that had fallen off and is now in the back seat, evidence on the roof of a Halloween's egging, and windshield wipers that screech.

Yep, Ebie's more of a jalopy now. The Countess says all Ebie needs is bad mariachi music, complete loss of air conditioning, and tacky rearview mirror decor to be "Totally Jalopy." She shared this sad but hilarious story with the Empress and BamaGirl. BamaGirl decided that SPC Tater Salad's befringed mini American flag would look better in Ebeneezer Cruise than stashed somewhere in SPC TS's room. So the flag dangles proudly from the windshield by way of a little suction cup.

The Countess says, "If you must be old and busted, be old and busted with flair."

Ebeneezer's continuing transformation into a jalopy shows that he needs a new name: a swarmily Spanglish name wafting eau de nasty hair gel and sporting a check-ya-later-baby smirk.

Rick Suavo.

"I theenk I'm in luv."

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Quote of the day

"The day the New York Times defines what country music is is the day that I will start shaving my legs with a butter knife every day."

- John Rich, on the not-nice review the Muzik Mafia show received after its debut.

On Being a Girl

I will tell you - there is a reason that I didn't go into business and that I got out of politics.

Negotiations are not my strength. At all.

Then again, I've not had much experience in this area. I've never bought a house. The house my brother and I share, we inherited when our mom passed away. All we did was pay it off when the life insurance came through. The next house I'll live is likely another one I've inherited. I've only bought one car.. at Car Max. No negotiations there.

So this selling this business thing was extrordinarly uncomfortable for me. We finally reached a price that my attorney thought was a joke but it was either a little bit of money or none at all.... a little is better than nothing.

I'm competitive but not that competitive. I called up Elena, frustrated and tired.. saying something I *knew* I wouldn't say just a few years ago...

"Where is a man to do this for me? God I hate it!" But, I sucked it up.. finished it.. and I wish I could declare my life a 'negotiating free zone' in much the same way I did with yard sales but I know that's just foolish.


Does anyone else find it strange that Ice-T had a song called "Cop Killer" and now plays a cop on Law and Order: Special Victims Unit?

I know I'm not the first one to say it but.... dude.. that's just freaky.

Thanks I Love the 90's Part Deux for helping me come to that realizations.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Best Friends an Empress Could Have

This weekend, Elena, her sister Ashpanaz, Duke Diva, Bama Girl and Ash's roommate came over to the Empress's house. They helped the Empress clean out parts of her house so more stuff from the other buildings in the estate (so they can be sold or re-modeled.)

We threw out all sorts of crap. And I do mean crap. Boxes that hadn't been moved in years. Junk mail stuffed into drawers. I did find my mom's china (to add to the other 3 sets I've come across. I shall not want for a dish - ever.) And a still wrapped Return of the Jedi audio story book. Yes, you may be jealous.. goes great with my still in the box Darth Vader.

The Empress would like to state her profound thanks and appreciation. It would not have been done without them. Thank you.

You have a choice - our choice

States can opt out — refuse to make changes to their driver's licenses that will be required under the federal law — but then the licenses would be useless for any federal purpose, from getting benefits to boarding an airplane guarded by federal screeners.
Much like forcing seat belts and HOV lanes on state law makers by tying it to federal highway funding... and knowing that state law makers never met a dollar bill they didn't like, it will probably be passed without much question.

Yahoo! News - Driver's Licenses Spark Privacy Debate

Redefining Metrosexuality

Over there on Vox's blog they were talking about Sean Connery as James Bond shooing away a woman in "Dr. No" with "Go away - man talk" which I think is funny. And a James Bond movie with Sean Connery.. mmmmmm... the only outfit that I can recall that was questionable was that blue zip-up jumper thing in Goldfinger. The movie that is questionable is "Never say Never again." That is just a joke.

That got yours truly to thinking.. why is it that Sean Connery can look fabulous in his suit with a pocket square and freshly polished shoes but if a man today were to wear such, people would ask "what spa does he go to?" He would be deemed a... *drum roll* a metrosexual!

Where did we go wrong? In a world where dressing up means putting on the jeans that don't have the ketchup stain, putting on a suit signifies something is wrong with a man or he's on his way to a job interview.

One of the reasons is that we are just a more casual society. It is unusual to see anyone dressed up. They garner attention. And when you don't follow a norm, you must be labled retro or metrosexual.

The other? Loss of masculinity. James Bond (excluding Pierce Brosnan - he's cute.. but just a player) is a man. And it is Sean Connery that is the personification of James Bond. He is the best of the bunch.

It's the gun. It's a swagger. He wears the clothes - not the other way around. He knows what he wants and knows how to get it. *swoon* And he shoos women away with a spank on the butt! But, he isn't.. you know.. all Queer Eye made over about it.

Even Blake gets it.

Perhaps metrosexuality can just go by the way side. Well-dressed and dapper men with lovely ladies.. and how they got that look should remain a mystery.

Update: Blake responds with some advice on how to dress with class. Are you taking notes? You should be.

Friday, January 14, 2005

How to Say "I Love You" to Your Man Without Speaking

Guys, how do you want your special gal to show you her love? These can be gifts, shared leisure activities, acts of service, written messages, and other things. What kinds of gifts say "I love you" to you? And which are great to have but just don't have the same oomph?

Come on, chime in! Haloscan till ya cain't Haloscan no more!!! {NOTE: Gentlemen, please keep your comments SFW: safe for work. Thanks!}

*PSA (in breathy female voice): The Countess is allowed to misspell words for effect, at her own discretion. Thank you.*
Elena's Great Gift Ideas for the Gal in Your Life

~Disclaimer: The Countess does not promise these will succeed with your particular lady. Know her likes and dislikes, but don't be afraid to take risks in purchasing gifts either. If she doesn't appreciate your effort, she may not be a keeper. Unless she's already your wife. In that case, you gotta keep her, dearheart (unless she cheats on ya or tries to kill ya).~

Without further ado, in no particular order:

* Bear-a-Grams
Miss O'Hara blogged about the "scandalous" and "discriminatory" teddy bears offered by The Vermont Teddy Bear Company (which sponsored by Yahoo! and can be found at the Yahoo! online store). After perusing the selection of these top-quality fur-bearing creations, I decided that I WANT one! So...anyone who knows me and my home address is welcome to spend the big bucks and send me a Bear-a-Gram, for whatever reason you choose. {Tip o' the tiara to Miss O.}
* jewelry (Ooh, it sparkles!)
* chocolate (Think velvety candies, not the cheap stuff. And just a handful of expensive ones is a nice indulgence for her, especially if you combine them with her favorite bath products, some lovely candles, and a CD of relaxing music.)
* items made from soft fabric (cashmere, velvet, chinchilla, rabbit, soft chenille---blankets, scarves, shawls, gloves, sweaters---think luxe!)
* stuffed animals (Cute doesn't have to be expensive, but don't buy the cheaply-made, ugly ones.)
* flowers (Know the ones she likes. Not all girls are into red roses.)
* gadgets (if she's a gadget girl)
* handwritten poetry, messages/quotes, or song lyrics (Frameable calligraphy earns you bonus points.)
* something you made yourself (Don't worry about it being of professional artistic quality.)
* a picnic in a usually-non-picnicky area (If going to a park that doesn't allow food on the trails, don't try picnicking there.)
* a leather-bound journal (for the literary girl)
* a signed copy of book written by her favorite author
* a meal that you cook
* a "kidnapping," in which you blindfold her and take her somewhere she's been wanting to go
* go with her to a place you normally hate (and enjoy yourself!)
* Create a comic strip with y'all's friends as characters. (Be careful! Don't diss her friends too badly.)
* a basket of goodies (Variations on a theme---ingredients for a romantic evening [you put them to use]; supplies for a spa evening [you could be her masseuse!]; painting or drawing supplies for the artist. You get the idea.)

Gals, feel free to add your ideas in the comments.

Guys, there's a separate post for you to add the items on your "Show Me You Love Me" wish lists.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Oh Say Can You Caption?

Caption one, caption them both.. caption them in a conversation.

The challenge: Keep it safe for work!

And does anyone else think that Tony Blair in that picutre looks like Smeagol?

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Faking It

In the world of narcisstic Sex and the City-inspiried women comes this story. I guess the rings are as fake as they are.

Scratches to the Post

In regards to the lovely Miss O'Hara scoring a link on Vox Popoli, Elena had this to say via email:
Why is it that what is considered emotional abuse, coming from the husband and being inflicted on the wife, is not considered such when it is the wife treating the husband in a similar way? Society's sense of humor has gotten so warped!

Oh, let's NOT be man bashin' women!

Monday, January 10, 2005

In the year 2005 I resolve to:
Slap stupid people in the head.

Get your resolution here.

A purr to tingilya.

Greetings from the Court!

The Countess dons her cutest footwear and salutes the worthies of the realm. *waves: elbow, elbow, wrist, wrist*

Go, thou, and be grammatically correct!
A Royal Proclamation

With great fanfare and delight, I would like to announce that Countess and Official Grammarian Elena has been appointed as the newest (and only other) columnist at the Scratching Post.

A Fun morning

First, I set off the fire alarm trying to make breakfast. Burnt bacon is such a LOVELY smell.

Then I get to work and have a hard time parking the Cruiser, nearly hitting the car behind me.

The online database is down - again. It was down all day Friday and this morning. This kind of limits what I do for my job.

And I got an abso-f'ing-lutely insulting offer for my dad's business. Do I look like I'm stupid and that desperate to sell? PLEASE! I'm not some idiot girl who's hurting for money. Don't pity me with your sympathy and couch it that you are doing me a favor by taking it off my hands. It has value and I plan to get what it's worth.

It's a Monday and it sucks.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Belly Dance Photo of the Week

Helena Vlahos was probably one of the first people to really bring belly dance to the masses for Gen Xers. She is the first person I saw dance.. on That's Incredible! in the very early 80's. A couple of years before she was inducted into the Guiness Book of World Records for flipping 9 quarters on her belly - one at a time. Now, I would like to see the gym rats try that with their washboard abs!

Anyway, I saw it and flopped down on the floor in the den trying to flip the quarter like she did. She made it so easy - I had no idea that flipping a quarter is quite possibly one of the hardest things to do in belly dance. After about an hour, I gave up and went on to something else.

I came back across Ms. Vlahos in searching for pictures for this weekly feature. I may not yet be able to flip a quarter but my belly rolls are improving.. just got to get the lower abs involved. Enjoy!

9 quarters! They didn't have a pictures of her dollar bill folding trick but I bet that is really cool to see.
2008 Primaries...

I know - we've been joking about Hillary running for the nomination right after the November election but here's one from the other side of the aisle.

Headline News had a story that Newt Gingrich's book tour was taking him to New Hampshire and Iowa... "key primary states." I think the story said he was looking into fundraising.

Can't we get to the inaugration before people announce their candidacy for 2008? Please?

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Good advice

Nashville Scene gives some guidance to the returning legislators. The Assembly is back in session on Monday - no Tennesseean is safe.

I would like to add that this blog would donate a box of hankies to (hopefully but not likely outgoing) Lt. Gov. John Wilder.

Friday, January 07, 2005

The Winner.....

It's Friday.. and the winner of this week's Caption Contest is..

Lord Floppington with:
Because of a chronic inner ear infection, Seymour always carried a heavy trophy in his outstretched right arm to help correct his balance.
Nate, Erik, and Elena's entries were great too. "Gay airplane dance..." combined with musical theater and a proclaimation that "I'm flying!"... whew.... Wait. Wasn't that on Bravo a few weeks ago?

Pink Kitty's Scratching Post

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Scratches to the post

Ivan Lenin tells us:

Speaking of places, do you know that your blog is currenty holding the place #666 in the ecosystem?

Does this mean that I have the mark of the beast somewhere on me?
Keep things in their proper place

Thanks to Vox, I became aware that capelets were thought sexy by 78% of women surveyed.

I didn't see it on Candied Ginger's list of what's in or out but capelets do not belong on the street.

Capes and Capelets have a place.. on Superman or the Ren Faire. Even the handsome Mr. Gerard Butler as the Phantom doesn't know how to use a cape. He flipped it around too much...

"You must be aware that I am sexy and wearing a cape!"

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Fire Your Stylist!

Rejected look for Queen of Naboo in the upcoming Star Wars movie.

Little Billy is looking for a place to hook up his tire swing.

Look! It's a sharpei! Or is it Cousin It's friend, That?

I don't think it's the hair that gets the attention in this picture.

too sexy... or too gay?

Source: Bienvenidos (Thanks Miss O'Hara).

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Ministry of the Obvious...

Overweight Kids Have Tough Time Socially

To fully demonstrate the obvious to us, please see Christine in the movie version of "Phantom of the Opera" (as Elena pointed out in the comments and I pointed out in the theater):

I remember there was mist
- See the gray mist.

swirling mist upon a vast, glassy lake ...
- See the black, shiny, glass-like lake. It's almost like that big mirror over there.

There were candles all around
- Do you see all the candles - EVERY-FREAKIN'-WHERE!? It's a fire hazard I tell you! Where is the inspector? Think of the smoke when you snuff them out. *cough cough*

and on the lake there was a boat,
- Don't let go Jack... Don't let go. (picture also includes mist and glassy lake)

and in the boat there was a man ...
- Wearing a mask.. and a white shirt that's halfway open.. sort of brooding but not really. He really just looks kind of like a spoiled 2 year old that hasn't gotten his way. Instead of getting the love of his life, he should sit in time-out.

Thank you Madame Exposition. I think from now on, instead of calling these kind of stories "obvious," I will say the researchers/writers are having a "Christine moment."

Attack of the 1980's

We are the World revived for tsunami relief effort.

The re-release would help Michael Jackson if it goes into wide release. He was the original song writer. Do you think he will give the money he earns away or use it to bolster his legal defense?

Will Hands Across America follow suit?

''It makes me think of that line, 'You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.' People say this to you with a straight face, and I always say, 'Who. Wants. Flies?' ''

- Bill Murray, responding to the comment that he is difficult to work with on set.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

The things people look for...

That lead them here.

Condi Rice is a lesbian
Evil Pink Kitty
Emasculated Sissy Men (That seriously gross.)
"things to empress women" (Um... proper spelling?)
Pink track suits (EWW!)
Spacebunny and Vox

OK.. whoever the evil Pink Kitty is.. it must be stopped. It must be vanquished to make the world safe. *Lightening bolt! Lightening bolt!*

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Return of the Caption Contest

It's a new year and time to bring back a couple of features that took part of December off. I have some great pictures waiting in the wings for future contests.

So... what's up with this guy?