Th-th-th-th-that’s all folks!

Posted by andrea - December 31st, 2006

Update, October 6, 2009: Hi there! This is just a little announcement for anyone who has wandered over here and is confused as to why there is no new content. I closed this blog on December 31, 2006, and opened a new one for 2007. See the original post content below. But if you want my latest web ramblings, please go to the main page for all the links to all my sites, or head straight over to my current blog, The Spleenville HQ Chronicles. What does this mean in the great scheme of things? Well, for one thing, it means NO, I DON’T WANT TO ADD ANY ADVERTISEMENTS TO THIS SITE. (Yes, I periodically get spammed from my old sites for this purpose. Stop it. It is irritating, and is not making your business any more attractive.) Now everyone, change your links to either for the main site, or for just the blog.


The end of an era — Dick Clark looks as if all his old age dropped on his head at once. Sad. Oh well — here’s the new blog. Have a happy, and all that. This blog is officially closed.


Posted by andrea - December 31st, 2006

Hm, a little less than three hours to go. I suppose I should start preparing my New Year’s Eve nosh. Today I went to the store (it was packed with last-minuters like me, but except for the slight feeling of claustrophobia from all the tot-packed “fun” carts — Publix provides these ridiculous shopping carts with carapaces of fanciful bulging plastic for people to place their infants in, and they take up twice the space of a regular shopping cart — it wasn’t that bad) and stocked up on a few things. I have taken to not doing a regular dinner on New Year’s Eve, instead snacking on finger foods like cheese and crackers and fancy olives, salty stuff to go with the champagne. Of course I bought the champagne — I decided to go with Korbel this time instead of Martini and Rossi. They were both about the same price (not cheap, but not as expensive as the French stuff.) There was something called “Verdi Spumante” which was dirt cheap, but I took a good look at the label and saw the words “malt liquor beverage with natural flavorings.” Fwoaaarrr! No thank you, I am not a teenager. We drink the real stuff in the House of Spleen.

People have been setting off fireworks all night already. Or firing their guns in the air — I can’t really tell the sounds apart. Especially as I am blasting (well, not really, it’s just on loud enough to hear) the classical music station. They are sticking to playing music tonight except for their glum intervals of NPR news headlines. Eventually I will turn them off and turn on the tv, looking for whatever festivities the networks decided to air.

And those are my exciting evening plans.

Yappy Who Sneer

Posted by andrea - December 31st, 2006

Man, I can’t wait to kick this year in the ass out the door. It’s not exactly sucked for me… but it could have been better.

Hm. Better spiff up the new blog too. (Yes, chilluns, there will be a New Blog for 2007. It’s a Spleenville tradition!)

Update: I have changed the title. I like this one better.

Update 2: nah, this one is better.

Iambic Pentspameter

Posted by andrea - December 28th, 2006

Presented unreformatted and unedited is this bizarre poem — or something — I received in the latest batch of spam to inundate my email box:

And so I gaze avidly
and the Splendid Splinter. For a few dreamy dollars,
Upon from the right by far trees, that white place
whose soft bristles graze the top-racks.
The road, but not far enough ahead
II. Quest and Conquest
Never does any motion, sound, or light
Only a whiter absence to my mind,
Green lilac buds appear that won’t survive
To pick up even the quickening of wind
Wind, sleet. The branches sway,
Dismal, endless plain—

Rest easy, parents of Liberal Studies majors, it looks like your freakish children are employable after all.

The Decade the Wethead Died

Posted by andrea - December 27th, 2006

It’s possible that not even many people who were alive in the Seventies will get the joke of my title… I was trying to think of something to illustrate the way even horror was flattened out into something banal… But don’t bother with me. Kathy Shaidle encapsulates the Seventies perfectly: “…that bitter, corrosive yet oddly sacharine pall.” Yep. That’s why every time another disco bunny who was born in 1981 came up to me and insisted “but the Seventies were fun!” I came this close to committing murder. Then I shoved a swizzle stick through each ear drum and it’s been sweet, sweet peace ever since. (Okay, just kidding — but that’s what I wanted to do for almost my entire childhood and teenage years. And I wanted to pour lye in my eyes too. Never to have to hear the laugh track again, never to have to see Sid and Marty Croft on my tv, never to have to endure the idea of the only shade of green being avocado…)

Now if only they did this for laundry

Posted by andrea - December 26th, 2006 is an online lending library. It works something like Netflix. I just may join it. The only drawback is my seriously bad habit of returning books — or rather, not returning them. For some reason ever since I started to drive, at the age of nineteen, I became really lousy at returning books. In fact, for a while there I had the collection department of the Miami-Dade Public Library on my ass. The strange thing is, before I started driving, I used to take the bus to the main library downtown at least once a week, or else I’d go with my dad to the library whenever he would go, which was more than once a week. (I got my avid reading habits from both parents.) But when I started driving, something seemed to happen in my brain. You’d think having a convenient book conveyance (the car) would improve my borrowing habits — no more lugging five or more hardbacks all over Miami, I could just drive up to the drop-off bin and pitch them out the window of the car. But instead they started to disappear under the debris in the back seat, or even under the seats. Or they’d stay in my bedroom forever, until I no longer even saw the seriously overdue tomes — they had become part of the background, like the paint on the wall.

Anyway, this sounds like a pretty good deal — for one thing, it’s not free, so I’d be limited as to what I can do (I need limits, believe me), and for another thing, it has the Netflixish “keep titles as long as you want” going for it. That sounds like giving me too much leeway, but actually I’ve been pretty good at popping the dvds I get from Netflix back in the mailbox.

And thinking further about the library follies of my youth… I wonder if what actually got me down about libraries and damaged my good borrowing record wasn’t anything to do with the car, but instead had to do with the gradual transformation (at least, as noticed by me) of libraries from musty, mysterious, hallowed and dignified halls of rank after rank of bound knowledge into dreary “community centers” full of noisy schoolkids, clattering machines, glaring overhead lights, notice boards full of announcements about meetings and trash recycling schedules, and the same lurid bestsellers you can see in airports and supermarket stands prominently displayed (but that serious, scholarly work you are looking for has to be ordered in from the university library, and the older classic is out of print). I am just old enough to remember the supposedly stultifying and elitist old-style library, where librarians were stern, spinterish women in hornrimmed glasses, and everything was meant to point to an antique time quite different from whatever crass and ordinary modern environment in which the library happened to exist. (For example: Miami’s old main library was in the middle of a park on Biscayne Bay, and was in the shape of a Greek temple. It was torn down and replaced with a building at the back of the city’s cramped fist of a downtown, right near a tangle of highway overpasses that cut off the light. Appropriately the new library was built in “Spanish” style, complete with a dungeon-like street-level story below the main entrance on the second floor (which entrance you reach by a long, dark ramp lined with drunken hobos). It was a hideous place and I eventually quit going there. Orlando’s main downtown branch isn’t much better, though at least it isn’t built to look like the castillo of a particularly sadistic conquistador.)

Anyway, those stern, spinsterish women, and those long, high shelves of musty books half in shadow, gave birth to my childhood ambition to be a librarian. And the postmodern NuLibrary with its multimedia presentations and socially responsible “Fill In the Ethnic Blank History Month” displays that meant there was no room for actual books to be displayed (you had to get permission to go into the “stacks” for those) are what killed it.

(Link to via an ad on Collected Miscellany.)

Update: I forgot — these are the libraries I wanted to inhabit. (Not just work in. Live in. Put a cot for me in a corner and I’ll be fine.)

Low Ebb

Posted by andrea - December 26th, 2006

Hey, I didn’t exactly miss the point of Kathy’s post title — I just thought that the news about the Republican Party Cheatin’ Three was old hat. Also I was quite irritated at having to read about Newt Gingrich’s alleged preferences in the genitalia-servicing area. Quite frankly, that’s one image I don’t want to have in my brain.

But seriously, I still say it’s rather unfair to label the Republican Party as “the Adultery Party” based on the peccadilloes of three of its members. Yes, it’s probably much more than that. But just look at what society they have to choose from. Every time I hear an American complain about the bedroom activities of one of its leaders I want to say “look in the mirror.” Hypocrisy cuts both ways, after all.

As for the Democrats, becoming the party of “tolerance” still doesn’t make no-fault divorce and the explosion (for want of a better term) of men trading in their old wives for newer, faster models, and women leaving their men and taking the children because “he never talks to me anymore,” a good thing. Railing at your conservative opposites for not upholding the side isn’t doing much good when you’re the ones undermining the supports. And I maintain that liberal shill sites (I almost wrote “liberal shrill,” which would have been just as apropos) like Washington Monthly are like people throwing gunpowder on a burning building and then complaining about the incompetance of the fire department when the fire spreads to their own compound.

And just on a side note, I find it hard to believe that Newt Gingrich is being seriously considered as a possible Republican Party candidate for anything. Now that’s a dark horse. (I almost wrote “whore,” which would have been just as apropos.)

That being said, what else do I have to say? Not much. It’s a grey, gloomy day here at Spleenville Central, which is in the heart of supposedly sunny Florida. I actually like this kind of weather, but only when I am feeling well. Instead, for some reason I’m achy and feeling down. I considered taking a walk, but instead almost fell asleep on the couch. I need to do laundry, and you can imagine just how eager I am to get started. To get myself in the mood for things I am listening to Strauss waltzes and drinking some Republic of Tea “Tea of Good Tidings.” I will have one of my cookies and look up bread recipes. I feel like filling the apartment with the smell of baking things. Yes.

Happy Boxing Day

Posted by andrea - December 26th, 2006

The hols have eaten my clever titles, what can I say. Anyway — Yesterday was spent at the tiny, hobbit-sized apartment of friends stuffing myself on turkey and pie, and engaging in the traditional Exchange of Loot. My spice cookies were well-received, as always. What can I say, I can whip up a batch of mean cookies when I go to the effort. By the way, when I say my friend’s apartment is “hobbit-sized,” I mean it had ceilings so low I could practically reach up and touch them. I kept clonking my head on the hanging light in the dining area, and I had to fight the urge to duck every time I came near the ceiling fan. And I am not a tall woman. The apartments are a bit luxe too — they have coded gates, and a spa, gym, door-to-door trash pickup, “Roman” tubs with those massage jets, and so on. Nice place, but tiny. On the one hand, it was a good thing, because they live in the second floor and I am not good with heights, but the stairs weren’t that bad. On the other hand, the only thing keeping the place from being claustrophobic was the open kitchen/living room plan. That’s another good thing about this older apartment I live in — it’s at least got high ceilings. Something to think about when I go hunting up a new place.

Haven’t got much else to say right now. I’ve got a few mundane house tasks that need to be seen to. Such as mountainous pile of laundry. So there may or may not be more posting later.

One more thing: thanks to everyone who donated to my Paypal and Amazon accounts. You guys are great!

Update: oh yeah — new look for the rest of the year! Someone out there knows me.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Posted by andrea - December 25th, 2006

The Twisted Spinster sends all her readers a musical Christmas card from Twisted Sister. (I don’t have my blog set up to host YouTube videos directly.)

(Via Who Tends The Fires.)

Christmas Eve activities update

Posted by andrea - December 24th, 2006

Well, the cookies are done and the last batch is cooling. They came out good — I hope no one notices they aren’t the same recipe as last year! But they are much the same — molasses spice cookies are molasses spice cookies.

I still have gifts to wrap, and I have to remember to tell my friends to bring their brandy, if they have it, because I plan to make my glogg. (If they don’t have brandy then I guess it will just be spiced wine.) Of course, I have my period. My bodily rhythms always make sure that every holiday is spoiled. I sure hope these cramps are gone by tomorrow. Though the glogg will make them less annoying. I hope.

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