Wednesday, January 27, 2010

early valentine's goodies

awww, kitty don't dye for me--PETA will get super-pissed

happy early valentine's day! i love this time of year, mainly because of the abundance of red and pink everywhere. that and any holiday that promotes the eating of chocolates and refined sugar is mighty fine with me. damned evil marketing gurus.

i know i did this last year, but i couldn't let the holiday pass without a quick look at some vintage valentine's day cards. feel free to add you own comments!

female sexual arousal disorder is no laughing matter--run little eskimo, RUN!

second. most. phallic. card. ever... this one (the heart in the shorts slides up and down)

false imprisonment...

...brandishing a weapon...

...and rather overt references to gettin' cut are no way to woo a lass

a subtle reminder: just like a free lunch, there's no such thing as free if you could miss the wood reference

this card has an extraordinarily high potential for being misunderstood by any recipient of either gender, however my guess is that a guy would much rather receive this than a girl

bein' a 'bo is better than bein' a bum...and britt, iowa has the national hobo convention every year--i think i may check that out

does anyone else think of ned beatty when they look at this?

because there's nothing tastier than a heart in love, mmm-hmmmm

another card that could be seriously misunderstood--give judiciously or else you're going to have a hell of an argument at dinner

i'm thinking her being topless is signal enough

is it just the repeated reference to "screw" that makes this a valentine's day card? 'cause otherwise i'm clueless.

i think this card is threatening imminent abandonment if the recipient agrees to be his valentine--might want to think twice about entering into this contract.

s-kid? isn't he a rapper?

tweaked out girly boys must be somebody's weakness...

...or full-on gender benders

yikes! yes, yes i do, and then i want to pour bleach in my eyes to get this scary-ass vision of valentinian hell out of my brain

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


i sat down today to write a bitchathon about how i was convinced that iowa was plotting against my sanity by forcing YET ANOTHER fucking snow day on me (after having already spent a week and a half at home with sick kids), but then i talked to jake...

this is jake

as in "jakeandlindsay"

and jake is one laid-back, relaxed, even-keeled dude who has always seemed happiest in a more-tropical-than-not environment (i.e. mexico). he'll visit the cold, if he chooses to, but nothing too extreme--certainly not like the north slopes of alaska in january. yet that is exactly where he is right now.

and after chatting with him today, it seems apparent that 10 days (and counting) on the north slopes of alaska in -50F weather is draining even his good naturedness. he designs tools for oil drilling and exploration and, at times, is required to travel to where they do such things and teach people how to use them. unfortunately for jake, they can't conduct any tests until it gets and stays above minus 30F...

here's the weather forecast for where he is:
Click for Prudhoe Bay, Alaska Forecast

so, it may still be a bit before his weather comes through for him. i would imagine he now has an intimate knowledge of frozen hell (and, for once, i'm not describing iowa here). being stuck in a heavily-insulated room without a wii, a guitar, nearby civilization, or even the lindsay part of "jakeandlindsay" no es bueno. there must be some equatorial exploration going on somewhere that can use his help...or maybe a return visit to yelapa...with your maybe about two weeks...?

hang in there jake! i promise it will get better--it can't stay that cold forever!
(thank you to lindsay for the photos)


señor jake just emailed these pics to give an idea of what he is dealing with in alaska...and please bear in mind that they were shot around NOON.
prudhoe bay hotel serves up jake's breakfast, lunch and dinner

look closely: this is a frozen interior door


check out that massive icicle hanging right over the entrance to the's a total catch-22, because the icicle has formed because of the condensation from the heater.
total. death. trap.

and while this is no consolation to jake, and while we are having unseasonably high temperatures, it helps me to know that tonight, in iowa city, our low will be about sixty degrees higher than where he is--yet i still feel cold...but probably not as cold as jake.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

sometimes these things just write themselves

yesterday i escaped the house i have been trapped in for the past week with two. sick. kids. but they're not quite sick enough to be in bed or just watch TV, they're just sick enough to have to stay home and cough all over me. and each other. and annoy the living crap out of everyone in their vicinity...

anyway, yesterday i finally got to escape and go to iowa's megalomart equivalent, menard's. i spent about an hour and a half just wandering the aisles, fantasizing about the new bathrooms i'd like to install, trying to withstand the impulse to buy gardening equipment (these stores are starting a bit early--we've got four more months of freezing weather to endure). in the end i bought lightbulbs for my grow lamps, so i guess i didn't withstand the impulse as well as i thought... i returned home to the pesthouse to install my new lights and was welcomed by an agitated rich. he was in twitchy mode and i had no clue what was wrong with him--had the stress of the kids made him snap in the time i was gone? while i was marveling at his lack of coping skills, i noticed he was checking and rechecking all of the phones. apparently they weren't working.

and the reason that they weren't working was because rich had decided the phone wires in the basement looked "messy" (his words), so he disconnected them all. he removed our telephone service while i was at menard's. and, since our internet service runs through the phone get the picture. we were blacked out and still stuck in the house with two sick annoy-a-trons.

apparently, while i was gone, the stress from the kids had made him seek solitude in the basement (where his weight set is) and, being rich, he decided to control something. he didn't like seeing the disorder of the wires while he was working out so rather than covering them with a sheet he just removed them. i'm guessing his "ignore" function failed due to the stress of caring for his children.

after i refused to call qwest for him and file a repair request (i spend way too many hours doing crap like this for stuff that breaks by itself) and told him he would have to take care of it, rich's stranger danger/misanthropy got the better of him and he spent the next hour or so trying to reconnect those "messy" wires. eventually, he was successful but the internet connection still drops randomly for no good reason. he thinks the "messiness" has something to do with it. his suggestion is that i call qwest and convince them to clean it up; i think building a cabinet over the "messy" wires might do the trick better. send me your advice in the comments (please!).

and, as an aside, he's been googling "proper-looking telephone panel" so i'm quite concerned this is going to happen again...

Friday, January 15, 2010

harm reduction

harm reduction, as a general principle, is something i believe very strongly in. i would like to think that as a person going through this world with my fellow humans i am actively seeking to make things less harmful, less hurtful, less difficult for others. at least i am consciously trying to do this.

to this end, i respect and support harm reduction coalition, an organization that seeks to provide clean syringes and other hygienic gear for drug abusers. if an addict comes into an HRC center with 10, 20, 50, whatever used syringes, those syringes are properly disposed of and he/she are given 10, 20, 50, whatever clean ones for free. most of these centers are manned by ex-addicts who have an intimate knowledge of what it is like to shoot a drug.

***as an aside, i'm not advocating injecting drugs--i'm advocating keeping people as healthy as possible with the choices they make, no matter how much i may disagree with them.***

needle exchanges are a small step but a critical one: the idea is to keep the addicts (and their families, and their injecting partners, and all of the above's sexual partners) as healthy as possible physically until the time that the addict is ready to get clean.

or, to break it down into simple economics: syringes cost about a dollar apiece, whereas HIV costs upwards of a quarter-million dollars per person over the course of his/her life.

if you're interested in what HRC is like, as i'm guessing the vast majority (if not all) of my readers have no need of their services, please watch the following video:

and to answer your burning suspicious question, no, i am not a former drug abuser, intravenous or otherwise. i'm not an addict of any kind, in fact (and, no, that's not denial). my exposure to addicts came after college working at a halfway house for women who were trying to reintegrate back into their previous lives without the drugs--and they weren't always successful. i learned quickly that the person is not the disease.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

even more damn eagles...

sorry, sorry, sorry. i know they're still wanting...especially in the focussing department. i'm working on it. however, i just figured out that i am getting some areas of artifact in my images...which is not good. i think the lens is defective--i can't seem to clean it off. bummer.

anyway, a ridiculous number of bald eagles were out again today; they continue to fascinate me. i won't bore y'all forever with bird pictures--eventually they'll migrate away from here--at least i'll try not to be too repetitive. does effort still count or is it only success that matters?

Monday, January 11, 2010

shearing a bunny

this morning sophie woke up with a bit of a cough, so i let her stay home from school. she was pretty mellow, only interested in watching TV, so i thought maybe this might be the time to finally give her her very first haircut ever. amazingly, she complied--i lopped off about six inches to start then a couple more evening the whole thing out. she had a lovely little blunt, below-the-shoulder cut and it looked very simple and cute. she was happy; she looked at herself in the mirror and smiled really big and then settled back in to watching more TV.

i went upstairs to get on the computer and just let her be--a quiet bunny is usually a happy bunny. but when i looked down from my screen, i realized she was no longer watching TV...she was in her room...and she was occupied with something...something making little metallic noises...

she had the scissors.

and she was fixing her haircut to better suit her taste.

i have to admit, she did a better job in the front than i did--she gave herself some little bangs and some choppy layers (she looks a bit like joan jett with platinum blonde hair); i think i probably did a better job in the back. there is about a three-inch wide section missing from the back, but fortunately it is somewhat covered up by a longer top layer. it is a bit thin, however. i figured there was nothing i could do about it anyway, so i complimented her on doing such a good job, told her she was such a pretty girl, but from now on let's let mommy cut her hair...i'm not sure she'll comply. it'll make for more blog posts if she doesn't...

so this is where we started--her hair is beautiful and almost down to her waist, but it is also super dry and tends to knot something terrible (making for a very unpleasant experience whenever it needs to be brushed)

and this is the result--she did a great job in the front! i think it is very cute, and she is obviously happy with it

the back just needs a little time to fill in...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

more eagles on the iowa river

happy belated 2010!

here in iowa, it is wicked cold, wicked snowy, wicked miserable. yesterday, before this new round of snow kicked into high gear, i went out to test a new lens. forgiveness, please--i suck at telephoto work and this particular lens is a bit more cantankerous than not (and it was too dark, and i wasn't using a tripod, and i have all kinds of other excuses if you're interested). but, it is worth learning how to use...i think. most of the images are blurry but as eagles in the wild are not common sights to most i decided to shoulder the embarrassment and display them...and i sincerely hope to have better ones in the future.