November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Hoping everything goes smoothly for you this Thanksgiving. Gobble gobble.

November 19, 2007

Protesting Eggnoggery

Am I the only person in the world who doesn’t drink coffee? I love the smell of coffee. I love the thought of drinking coffee. But I can’t stand the taste of coffee. It totally roups me out.

So you’d think, with all my romanticizing about coffee (sitting in a sunroom I don’t have sipping on a big mug of coffee while perusing the newspaper or one of my favorite magazines during that completely relaxing morning time before going to work (ha!)) by now I might have done some coffee experimenting at my local Starbuck’s or other coffeehouse. I could only imagine that those giant lattes served to the Friends in Central Perk tasted just like a big, thick hot chocolate. And to order something with a “whisper of cinnamon” like Niles Crane would do in Café Nervosa would make me feel so utterly indulgent and grown-up. Why, with all the fancy-schmancy flavored stuff they put in coffee these days, have I been afraid to give it another shot?

Because they’ve just gone too far, that’s why. Getting fancy with coffee by serving café latte is one thing, but pumpkin cappuccino? When I see what flavors are available for coffee today, it makes me think I’m in a malt shop. It makes me want to buy the coffee because I love the flavor of caramel. I love the flavor of chocolate. Yes, I even love the flavor of pumpkin pie. But I quickly remember that these fabulous flavors are mere additions to that hideous and bitter beverage, coffee.

Today I went to the little shop down the way from my office to buy a muffin. I made comment to Ralph, the guy behind the counter every day when I go to buy my muffin, “ew, I see there’s eggnog coffee today.” Eggnog. OK, I said, eggnog. Coffee. Eggnog coffee. Ralph, who is usually jovial and friendly sort of looked down his nose at me and said, “well, you don’t even drink coffee so what would you know about it? It’s actually pretty good.”

All right, I apologize to Ralph and the skillions of people out there who love their eggnog coffee. I don’t know what I’m talking about because I can’t stand that bitter coffee taste, no matter what kind of fluff you add to it. But tell me the truth, do people drink this stuff because they think it really tastes good, or because they, like me, have coffee-drinking fantasies and the only way they can get it down without heaving it right back up again is to add some other flavor to it? If that is the case I applaud coffeehouses around the world for adding a little extra to their brew in order to draw in more customers.

But eggnog?

November 16, 2007


Let's set aside for a moment the rule of thumb: never talk about religion, politics, or sex. Well, in the blogging world everyone talks about sex and lots and lots talk about politics. I haven't happened across many blogs addressing religious issues, but it could be I just have an instinctual aversion to them.

Today I'd like to give you my opinion of organized religion. That's organized religion, not spirituality, faith, or the actual existence of a supreme being. I've kept my opinions on organized religion to myself in my real life simply to avoid the head shakes of pity coming from my family (one member is a nun!) and other devout church goers; today I'm going to come out with it, even though I'm fairly certain my views are shared by many.

To me, organized religion is nothing more than a bunch of people coming together and practicing rituals, listening to readings, singing songs, and sharing similar beliefs that make them all feel good. It's strictly a psychological phenomenon. A religion gives them hope. A religion inspires them try to behave nicely, whether out of fear of damnation or aspirations to be more "God-like." Going to church makes some people feel good about themselves. They are happy to belong to a community. The fantastical beliefs of miracles and an afterlife give them a sense of peace and security.

It doesn't matter what the religion, from Judism to Scientology, the results are the same. Members belong because the psychological effects of practicing a specific organized religion, for them, are positive.

I'm all for happy people. If going to church once a week makes someone a happy person, then by all means, they should go to church. I'm going to stop here, because the tangents I could follow are so numerous and controversial I would most certainly be unable to articulate them.

The purpose of stating my opinion on this matter was inspired by the news regarding the Flying Spaghetti Monster. I'll spare you my attempts to explain the origins and intentions of this magnificent "religion" and simply direct you to this article.

Intelligent design vs. science: what do we teach our children in school? A little of both, the general consensus has been. Where is separation of state? Intelligent design, in my opinion, should be taught at home, at church, at catechism, at least when it comes to kids grades K-12. The Pastaforians argue that their Flying Spaghetti Monster is just as conceivable as God, Buddah, Allah and all the other supreme beings responsible for the inexplicable, and should be included in the intelligent design vs. science teachings in school, if indeed it is determined intelligent design remains in the classroom. They will present that point to the scholars attending the American Academy of Region annual meeting in San Diego this weekend. And what is even more encouraging is the fact that the Academy of Religion is actually allowing them to present their views. Will the Academy come to any conclusions to the question of what actually defines a religion? Will that definition determine what is taught in schools?

I think it is brilliant for someone, a group of people, to approach these heavy and controversial religious issues with a sense of humor. I'm also quite partial to their rendering of the Almighty Flying Spaghetti Monster.

November 15, 2007

Meredith, You Ignorant Bitch

One of my favorite blogs is Citizen of The Month. Neil has such a charming, self-deprecating manner you can't help but love him. He toils over becoming an adult in this post and most of the responses, including mine, addressed his consideration of including ads on his blog.

Here's what I have to say to you, Neil: I've said it before and I'll say it again (although I'm very apt to change my mind in the future) - ADS ARE ICKY! Because: A) They mess up a perfectly wonderful template. They're blinking and flashing and distracting. B) You may make a few bucks here and there, but the real reason those guys want ad space is to make a skillion times more money than they are paying you to show their ugly faces on your pretty blog site. Those greedy bastards have no interest in you, nor are they supporting your blogging endeavors by feigning interest in your site. They are paying you to pay themselves.

OK, now to qualify. I'm so anti-corporate these days it's pitiful. I'm also anti-advertising. I'm sick of watching the five-minute commercials for Viagra on TV. I'm tired of wading through pages and pages of ads in my favorite magazines. Ads are icky. (See? I told you I'd say it again.) They are designed to make money for The Man, not for poor schmucks like us. (Excuse the Yiddish verbiage flowing from Catholic fingers; you guys have a way with words I can't resist.)

So Neil, my love, relax and take it as it comes. You've said yourself you think too much. Stop it. You have arrived. You are what you are. If that means you have some notion that not making money is where it's at, then be the struggling artist. I, for one, see your resistance to blog ads as a sign of integrity instead of being less of an adult. But then again, I may very well have a very twisted idea of what purpose blogs should serve. Sure, I'd love to be famous some day, but not at the expense of being in "the clique." And when I make money from my writing, it will be of my own merit, not because Blogher says I belong. Can anyone just write for the sake of writing? I thought that's what blogs were all about. Am I really stupid and naive to believe that?

Yikes. Did all that come out of me? I hope I haven't ruined all chances of becoming one of your blog crushes, but I refuse to show you my boobs.

November 14, 2007

Dr. Dentist, DDS

A trip to the dentist. Who’s coming?! I tend to decline a trip to the dentist. For years I declined. The reasons are as follows:

  • Dentist #1: Childhood – masochistic maniac didn’t believe in Novocain. He simply said, “Bite on this black rubber thing while I insert this screaming drill into your tender little nerves.
  • Dentist #2: Preteen to early adulthood – married womanizing schmoozer who gave more attention to his bodacious hygienist than the teeth he was treating as she thrust her bosom into my face giving him ample view of the voluptuousness beneath her low-cut blouse. She reeked of Prince Machebelli perfume, which made my head buzz more than the happy gas.

Insert long absence from dental visits here.

  • Dentist #3: Late twenties to mid thirties – most likely the grandson of Dentist #1. Relished the practice of taking pocket measurements in that he could press that little pick so deep into the gum they bled, diseased or not. As he walked away the hygienist would glare bitterly at him and ask me, “Are you okay?” Eventually he informed me he would need to perform surgery on me. When I asked him to refer me to a specialist he went into a huffy tizz-fit, insulted by the insinuation of his incompetence.
  • Dentist #4: Mid thirties - Periodontist – no complaints except the treatment he was forced to give caused intense pain.

Insert another long absence from dental visits here.

  • Dentist #5: Present day – cute little thing, young enough to be my son. Very willing to administer Novocain and any other pain-killing substances when necessary. Also very eager to refer me to Dentist #4, the periodontist. They know each other well.
  • Dentist #6: Present day still – different dentist in periodontist Dentist #4’s practice. Another cute young thing who pats me on the shoulder as he leaves the room as though I were some old crone needing platonic affection, or out of pity for the painful procedures ahead of me. He presented to me the treatment plan and it doesn’t bode well. However, I’m determined to follow through.

Moral of the story: The reasons you choose to use to avoid going to the dentist will never trump rotting teeth and deteriorating jaw bones.

What I am grateful for today: Codeine.

Author's note: My smile is still beautiful. Don't go thinking I look like some toothless hillbilly with black gums.

November 07, 2007

Have Mercy On Our Souls

Boyfriend was going through some boxes of books salvaged from his parents' house during the move. He came across The Lutheran Hymnary, apparently belonging once to his grandpa. The copyright is 1935. And Boyfriend began to recite to me:

Also they teach that men cannot be justified before God by their own strength, merits or works, but are freely justified for Christ's sake through faith, when they believe that they are received into favor and that their sins are forgiven for Christ's sake, who, by His death, hath made satisfaction for our sins. This faith God imputes for righteousness in His sight.

He put down the book, and looked into my eyes with a straight face. "See?" He said. "Don't I do a great job of reading this shit?"

Reverent little fellow, isn't he?

November 02, 2007

November 01, 2007

NoWri, BloPo, It's All The Same To Me

November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and also National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo). To negligent writers, November demands far too much and has that special way of making us feel impotent.

Last year I succeeded at NaNoWriMo. I'm not going to divulge how I succeeded; suffice it to say there was much scrambling and very little plot line, but 15,000 words I did write.

This month I'm going to concentrate on NaBloPoMo. I haven't signed up officially with the officials, but I'm taking the challenge nevertheless. Between this blog and the secret other one I have, oh, and that one other one which requires the insertion of PayPal buttons and stuff, I should be able to pull off at least one posting per day. No, I'm not going to tell you about the other blogs. They private. They're written by someone totally separate from Meredith, yet embodied by her all the same.

And speaking of blogs, I've decided there is no way in hell anyone will ever figure out I exist unless I go out and advertise myself or something. My subject matters and lack of dirty words apparently make me a bad candidate for a google search. While I crave and relish anonymity, I wish I could be interesting enough for people to look me up once in a while. Which brings me to my point: If you want to be a somewhat popular blogger, in addition to interesting/amusing posts do you also have to be big in the blogger social scene? Do you have to participate in the readings? The parties? Do you have to give out cookies and Best Post awards? Does being tagged for a meme indicate you have arrived? Are blogs only read by other bloggers?

If you have the answers to any of these questions, please let me know. Oh, wait. I'll never hear from you, because you don't even know I'm here.