Oscillating Fans are Blow-hards

Ramblings of a work-deprived housewife caught in the squall of a fan.

Image altered by me via Wikipedia.

To fan or not to fan, a mind-blowing question that mystifies many a sweaty pit misfit.

If it’s hot, you fan. If you admire someone from afar, you are a fan. A fan belt is an antagonistic admirer who whacks someone in the mouth.

I prefer an oscillating fan to an admiring fan. On a hot day, a fan with a breezy attitude offers more relief than admiring someone from afar.

Although, oscillating fans are risk takers, simultaneously spinning and rotating left to right, or vice versa, like a pandering politician.

A stack of papers isn’t safe on a desk with an oscillating fan staring down at it, while also stirring things up. Even with the weight of a hammer resting on a stack of papers, if I had a hammer, one piece would inevitably get away, and it would likely be the most important one – The prince of the pile, leader of the paper platoon. Once the leader falls, the others soon follow, floating haphazardly about, without purpose, on the winds of change.

Now scattered, pieces of the platoon land in a paperless province where some are confined to a maximum-security archive, while others are sentenced to death by shredding.

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Emerson Played his Organ while Lake, Well, C’est La Vie.


Saturday, May 8, 2010.
(Better late than never)

As if we had stepped onto the set of a David Lynch movie, my husband and I entered the suburban venue darkly. We drifted past several gray-haired seventies rockers, with retro glassy-eyed stares, while climbing a flight of stairs to the balcony where our sardine-size seats awaited us. In unison, my husband and I forced our butts into the narrow mutant seats, like bloated corks into wine bottles, until our hips melded into the cushions, while our knees kissed the balcony wall.

My husband turned his head .55555 degrees left. “You want something to eat?” he asked.

“I’d rather not die here,” I said, concerned that just a one millimeter expansion of body fat would permanently conjoin me to the chair. Food was not an option. However, breathing was. I had to pucker my lips in order to take a sip of air.

Out of boredom, I started working my eyeball muscles, shifting my gaze from left to right. When something that was right in front of me all along suddenly caught my eye, literally. My eye got stuck in that position.

Somehow, I was able to move my lips to grunt out several words. “What’s that thing on the stage?” I asked, referring to a large square box that resembled a telephone switchboard.

“That’s Emerson’s original Moog synthesizer.”

“Moo synthesizer?” I echoed. “For cows?”

“Moog, not moo,” my husband said crossly and likely with blood pressure flushed cheeks, although I couldn’t turn my head to confirm my suspicions. I assumed he was angry from his silence amid the hostile mutterings of my seat neighbors, most of whom were stoned or brain dead from being stoned since the 70s.

My question about the Moog synthesizer, a no-brainer for an Emerson, Lake, and … fan, revealed that I was not a devotee of the band. I was just a hanger on, a seat filler, accompanying my husband, who was the true fan.

He could name all their songs. I could only name several of them. Hell. I didn’t even know which one of the two was Lake and which one was Emerson. I just knew that neither of them were Palmer since he didn’t make the tour.

Remember Dave Lynch? For a moment during my mental melee, I thought I would be Daved, uh, er, lynched, until I realized that my seat compadres were stuck like me, thus making a lynching seem rather unlikely, although their mutterings grew louder, more abrasive, something like “MUTTER! MUTTER! MUTTER!” I imagined they texted in all caps.

If the concert hadn’t started seconds later, I might have become deaf to their angry grumblings. But it was my good fortune that Emerson or Lake took the stage. The audience squealed like freshly minted pigs. I pressed an arm against my side, holding a pen like a claw, while taking copious notes on several drug store receipts, and scribbling in the dark. Afterward, I couldn’t read most of my notes when the lights made a final appearance.

The photos I took with my cellphone and several words I was able to decipher, Moog and Lake, helped revive my memory. Other than that, I just knew that a thin Emerson played the organ (I memorized their blurred forms halfway through the concert), while a pudgy Lake sang and strummed his guitar.

The evening was magical … because we got out of there alive. After finding discarded bags of popcorn soiled with saturated fat, we smeared bag oil across our bodies, shimmied our way out of the seats, and then survived the shuffle of the crowd down the stairs.

On the way home, my husband relived the evening by blasting the music of Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, yes, and Palmer, the silent partner in a very loud band of three, while I . . . just, well, c’est la vie.

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Canine Wrecking Crew: Gutting Homes One Room at a Time.

We’ll Take a Bite Out of Your Couch, Not Your Budget.
 The Brains

If you need a chair or sofa stripped clean, my dog Jenny, a mutt and alpha dog in a pack of two, will do it for free. She has an eye for interior design, or so she would like you think if you’re a minimalist and prefer sparse decor.

We discovered her flair for decorating when she and Jake, her business partner and number two, destroyed two couches while my husband and I were at work earning money to pay for things, such as reupholstering couches.

 The Brawn

When we first adopted the dogs, we kept them downstairs in the basement, which has a doggie-door to an outside pen that opens into a yard – a canine utopia, or so we had thought. But the dogs saw it as more of a maximum-security prison. They protested their inability to gain upstairs access by decimating the two sofas in the basement.

Every day, my husband and I would return home to a couch in a new stage of disrepair.

First, the dogs attacked the cushions – ripping apart the material, removing the foam, and scattering it across the floor and outside yard. My husband and I walked the yard, in a search and rescue mission, looking for wads of foam that were M.I.A.

At the time, we had hoped to retrieve the foam, stuff it back into the cushions, and eventually have them repaired. Unfortunately, the dogs ripped apart the cushions faster than we could find the foam. Our yard soon looked like an ancient foam burial ground.

But that was the least of our problems. Jenny and Jake had started gnawing through the armrests.

So, we left the cushions for dead and concentrated on saving the sofas. We had a brilliant plan, or so we had thought. We would spray the sofas with dog repellent. It worked while we were at home when we could reapply the spray, but as soon as we left for the day, the odor disappeared. And the dogs went back to the business of restoring the sofas, in their minimalist bare-bone vision, without the unnecessary excesses of upholstery or foam.

After a month, the couches had been stripped down to the frame, which left Jenny with no place to sleep other than the floor.

That showed her!

Do you have doggie demolition crew at your house?
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Opposite George’s Approach to Job Hunting.

ART VANDELAYImage by lucaohman via Flickr

“If every instinct you have is wrong, the opposite would have to be right.’’ ~ Jerry Seinfeld.

After a year and a half of “almost hires,” or “jobs-be-close” and “jobs-be-gone,” I’ve decided to change tactics. Following the correct protocol doesn’t seem to work anymore. Sending out thank you notes via snail mail (yes, it still exists) and kissing various strangers asses by sending said notes has only made my nose brown from metaphorical excrement and my wrist sore from postal box yankage.

Not to mention all the bloodletting from tongue paper cuts and hospitalizations from low-grade envelop glue. It all got me thinking. What would opposite George do?

Raising voice while flushing cheeks.

I’ll tell you what opposite George would do. He’d challenge the very laws of physics as a mirror image of himself. Although, still lacking depth and perspective, at least he’d be thin and reflective.

Then, in a contrary sort of way, George would remove the toupee that he uses as a head warmer, open the window, and throw it into an oncoming wind. Miraculously, the toupee floats away.

Okay. I know. Kramer is the toupee tosser, but still it’s a great example of a metaphor before it enters the earth’s atmosphere and burns up over Miami Beach.

Despite the factual inconsistency, you are still my hero, George. Because of your courage to do the opposite of what instinct dictates, I have made an executive decision. From now on, I will conduct my job search as you would.

Instead of sending out “thank you” notes, I will send out “you’re welcome” letters. You’re welcome to hire me if you agree to the following terms. Sign and return by fax ASAP in order to be considered as a possible employer.


It is agreed that Lauren will be entitled to . . .

  • Work from home or any comparable setting, i.e., beach, park, or saloon.
  • Sleep until 9 a.m. even if prospective employer’s business hours start at 9 a.m. or earlier.
  • Work two weeks out of the year, spending the other 300 plus days on vacation. 
  • Work in pajamas, warm ups, or birthday suit, all are considered acceptable business attire.
  • Have breakfast in bed for duration of morning.
  • Leave for brunch at 2 p.m.
  • Take an afternoon nap.
  • Watch Oprah at 4 p.m. upon conclusion of afternoon nap.
  • Take lunch at 5 p.m.
  • Procure a blender for margaritas.
  • Hire a bartender to manage blender operations and margarita processing.




    • Knows the best places to eat in cell phone dead zones. 
    • Knows where to find handicap parking spaces for Menu “B” persons designated handicap due to a hang nail or hang over disability.
    • Removes golf balls from the blow holes of whales and the mouths of blow-hards.
    • Master of work avoidance strategies and of own domain.


    • Leaves meetings on a high note by exclaiming, “I’m out of here.”
    • Gives the appearance of working when she is actually sleeping or studying the insides of her eyelids.
    • Shreds important paperwork before it becomes too time intensive.
    • Categorizes interoffice emails as junk mail.


    • Keeps coffee cake crumbs in top desk drawer for science experiments. 
    • Watches clock to make sure that time is working even if she is not.
    • Waters plastic plants because the real ones drown.

    What’s your work related or job hunting strategy?
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    Odd Jobs. Not Oddjob from James Bond.

  • These are actual jobs I found online that I doctored. Can you spot my handiwork? Who am I kidding?  It’s obvious.
    • EXP CARETAKER FT- live out under the stars on a large private estate, like a cowboy or a hobo, but without trains. Landscaping and Maintenance. Must love dirt. Pick up poop for twelve dogs with hearty appetites. High attention to detail.
    • LOCAL SALON seeks exp, reliable licensed hair dresser with machete. Must like Sweeney Todd and meat pies. We’ve got one of those chairs … for bad haircut days. We provide a conscientious, courteous, and DNA free environment.
    • P/T STABLE HELP WANTED – Experienced with Narcissistic Show Horses necessary. They can be such prima donnas. BRRRGH! Thump! Thump!
    • P/T FARM SUPERVISOR caring for horses and cows. Some gardening, a.k.a. hay pitching. Equine exp helpful, i.e., if you’ve ever ridden a pony as a kid. Knowledge of horse shit and cow shit a plus. Just don’t step in it.
    • TREE CLIMBERS – Work with people in high places. Min. 6 mos. tree climbing experience. Must be 12 yrs or older and have a valid driver’s license or a mommy who has one.
    • PORTUGUESE/ENGLISH Interviewer. I can’t make up my mind. Interview customers during Portugal/Brazil hours. Still can’t make up my mind. Hell. I can’t even speak Portuguese.
    • FAMILY seeks summer nanny. Please be a non-smoker, non-drug user, have child care exp with kids, so-so refs, safe transportation, clean license, and no prior record. Spring, fall, and winter nannies need not apply.
    • BUNNY VILLAGE Seeking PT experienced bunny teachers. Must be flexible and available to hop to it M-F. Must be hare by 9 a.m. Rabbit’s foot key chains prohibited. It was never good luck for a rabbit. 
    • DIRECTOR OF CUSTODIAL SERVICES – Can you flush a toilet? Change a roll of toilet paper without the holder shooting across a room? If you enjoy talking dirty, writing smut on a wall, and finding crap in toilets, take the plunge in a rewarding career in Custodial Services. Only those with plumbing exp. or degreed Flushologists need apply.

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      1-800 Voice Prompts and Dunderheads.

      swearing in cartoonImage via Wikipedia

      No more sludge talk for a while but that doesn’t include bad language

      Bad language is artistic expression in its purest form.

      Like, shit! I think my clothes might shrink. 

      Really. My clothes might be in danger of shrinkage. Not that kind of shrinkage.

      I stuffed them into the dryer and left the room, despite the vaguely worded instruction label, “when needed, tumble dry low.”  

      Troubling words, “when needed.” WTF does it mean? I need clarification.

      A transcript of a fictional 1-800 call.

      Dialing fake  1-800 #.

      Press 1 if you like beef jerky.

      Press 2 if you’re easily distracted.

      Press 3 if you’re dyslexic.

      You pressed 2! 

      Please hold while the same tedious voice prompt plays over and over again until a nitwit answers your call.

      Twenty-minutes later after drinking heavily.

      Hello 800#. Hiccup

      Hi back at you.

      The drying instructions are rather fuzzy.
      Always turn sweaters inside out.

      No. No. No. The label instructions are fuzzy. 


      No, fuzzy, as in unclear, ambiguous, perplexing, obscure. The instructions are confusing!

      How so?

      The wording can be interpreted in several different ways.
      An instruction label is like a well-written novel, providing just enough information without giving everything away.
      Labels should be concrete.

      If labels were concrete, they’d bust your dryer and give you a hernia.

      No. Concrete as in clear, not stonelike material.

      That’s a relief. But the label clearly states, “when needed, tumble dry low.” What’s confusing about that?

      “When needed.”

      Usually after the clothes have been washed. I can’t imagine drying them before that. They could melt.

      No. The words, “when needed.”

      Clear as a bell, unless it’s a cowbell, which sounds more like a rock in a tin can
      What does that have to do with anything?
      You brought it up.
      Let’s stop talking about words and start talking about labels.
      Well, there are Red Necks, Yuppies, Tree-Huggers, Pinko Commies, Liberal Fascists, Right-Wing Nuts, Empty-Headers . . .
      Not those kind of labels – Laundry labels. The tiny rectangular pieces of cloth that list the laundry instructions. Specifically, your label, “when needed, tumble dry low.” It’s not clear.

      Blurry? We’ve been over this.

      No. No. “When needed. When needed.” What does it mean?
      I’m not authorized to give out that information. Would you like to speak to my supervisor?

      Miss Junior 800# tells me you’re having a problem with the instructions on the label.
      Yes, the drying instructions are rather fuzzy.
      Always turn sweaters inside out.
      Head explodes, splattering brain matter onto clothing.

      Got any 1-800# horror stories?
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      BP Funded Fish Kill Habitat Opens at New Orleans Aquarium.

      On any given day, New Orleans Aquarium Curator, Mary More Ron, can be found trying to feed the unresponsive porpoises that float on their backs in a tank filled with oil-enriched sea water.

      A simulation.

      “Sure, it’s a challenge and a waste of time,” said Ms. More Ron. “But BP is spending millions of dollars on another frivolous effort. You can’t fault them for that.”

      Still each morning Mary More Ron takes the drive to the Aquarium, past the low-income neighborhoods that look like they were just hit by Hurricane Katrina, while mulling the Aquarium’s decision to add more fish to the exhibit tank.

      “Every day the garbage barge dumps loads of oily fish onto the loading dock, and everyday we drop them into the tank. “God love them.” Her voice cracks as she reflects on the garbage barge crew and captain, for whom she has the utmost respect.

      “They’re heroes, out there day-after-day, rescuing sea carcasses from the oil slick that threatens the Gulf, as well as the future of the sea carcass industry.”

      The ordeal from the ongoing rescue operation is evident in the bald spots on Ms. More Ron’s head. “I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t difficult,” then rips another clump of hair from her skull. Only after the medic finishes dressing her wound and injecting her with a sedative, is Mary able to continue. “Frankly, I don’t know if I can handle seeing another bin of adorable oily sea corpses. “Although …” She adds, “… I’ll do the best damn job I can under the circumstances.”

      Despite her concerns, Ms. More Ron has seen positive results from the oil extraction efforts by BP engineers in the neighboring shark tank.

      “The engineers work on extracting oil from the water and carcasses 24/7, so that tourists can fill up their tanks with gas on their way to the beach.” When asked if she thought the oil slick sand would hurt the tourist industry, Ms. More Ron responded, “Only if someone falls on their ass.”

      Mary More Ron also addressed the recent regulations affecting the beaches at night. “It’s true. The Coast Guard has banned all bonfires after dark due to the possibility of oil ignited firestorms.” She shakes her head. “It’s a shame. The repercussions from this disaster run deep.”

      With regard to the rumors that the Aquarium plans to hold live shows in the Fish Kill stadium tank outdoors, Ms. More Ron stated, “Not this year, unfortunately. We just don’t have enough handlers in the water to drag all that dead weight around.”

      Ms. More Ron then perked up when she began talking about the new Oil Spill Touch Tank in the adjacent exhibit hall. “The kids will love trying to grab hold of the crabs and turtles before they slip through their fingers.”

      The Aquarium hopes to bring in thirty-thousand visitors alone during the month of July when they open the new Waterfoweled exhibit with dead Terns, Pelicans, and Laughing Gulls.

      For more information on the Fish Kill Exhibit and the oil spill clean up effort, visit http://twitter.com/bpglobalpr.

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      Louisiana Fishermen Catch The Oil Vapors.

      A beach after an oil spill.Image via Wikipedia

      Eau De Petrol.

      If you were to ask BP chief executive, Tony Hayward, what was making New Orleans residents sick, he would tell you that it was food poisoning


      Regardless of the fact that fisherman James Wunstell of Galliano stated in an affidavit that . . .

      . . . he suffered headaches, nose irritation and a spike in blood pressure while working on his boat in the spill zone, where he said planes were spraying chemical dispersants.

      Nothing about diarrhea or vomit, which would clearly indicate that he had ingested tainted seafood from an, uh, er, oily fish. And I don’t mean tuna.

      Clearly Mr. Hayward was himself affected by the oil vapors when during a CNN interview, he first floated the notion that food poisoning made James Wunstell sick.

      “I’m sure they were genuinely ill, but whether it was anything to do with dispersants and oil, whether it was food poisoning or some other reason for them being ill,” Hayward said. “You know, food poisoning is clearly a big issue when you have a concentration of this number of people in temporary camps, temporary accommodation. It’s something we have to be very, very mindful of. It’s one of the big issues of keeping the army operating. You know, armies march on their stomachs.”

      No, I didn’t know that armies march on their stomachs. Did one of your engineers do extensive research to uncover that fact? Scary!

      Speaking of stomachs, I’m feeling rather sick from the garbage being spewed from Mr. Hayward’s mouth. And I’m miles away from ground zero, safely tucked away in the bowels of the northeast, where the air is thick with domestic methane gas. At least, we accept full responsibility for our leaks. Most of us, anyway.

      Mr. Hayward, you need to accept full responsibility for yours, which includes minor details, like, say, poisonous air.  If your company decides to build a deep water oil rig, with shoddy engineering, in the Gulf of Mexico, you should be prepared for the worst possible scenario. My bad. I implied that BP was prepared . . . after building a rickety rigged rig.

      Actually, I would guess that most of the oil companies are not prepared to handle an oil spill of this magnitude or mignitude.

      You’d think that years after the 1979 Ixtapa, Mexico oil spill, the oil companies would have developed the technology to handle such a crisis, but no. They’ve developed technology to advance their abilities to drill in deeper water. This sounds vaguely familiar to “putting the cart before the horse.” At least a horse drops methane turds, which can used as an energy alternative. How ironic is that?

      Not only does BP need to clean up their act, as well as their oil, they need to change their name from British Petroleum to “Busted Pipe dream.”

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