Sung By Anyone

I'm no better at crocheting than knitting - at which, you may recall, I am terrible - but it occurred to me I might stitch up scarves for the men's shelter, though not the shelter itself. It is a building and does not wear scarves, silly.

I’m no better at crocheting than knitting – at which, you may recall, I am terrible – but it occurred to me I might stitch up scarves for the men’s shelter, though not the shelter itself. It is a building and does not wear scarves, silly.

Even so, it's not all glamor being me! This weekend, I smashed my thumbnail below the nail line, necessitating the cutting of my nails. TRAUMA! I also steamed the crap out of my thumb, during which moment my one thought was, "Shit, I will NEVER do this to an entire lobster!"

Even so, it’s not all glamor being me! This weekend, I smashed my thumbnail below the nail line, necessitating the cutting of my nails. TRAUMA! I also steamed the crap out of my thumb, during which moment my one thought was, “Shit, I will NEVER do this to an entire lobster!”

What You Can Truly Be

The LongItalianLastName family drama continues to unfold off-stage. I don’t feel like talking about myself, so let’s talk about the unnamed university’s hunger-fighting project. KAPOW! My department participates every year, which means we get a family, some few details and go on our way. For example:

Adult #1

Age: 29

Gender: Female
Ethnicity: Hispanic
Most Needed Items:
Pants (Women’s Large), maternity clothing
Other Desired Items:
Perfume
Other Information (Interests, hobbies, favorite book author, favorite color, etc.):
Mother is expecting fourth child in December

You can’t really picture her from this – except that you can. You see her struggling on the sidewalk and laughing on the corner. She has dark hair and dreams in color. She is very tired. Maybe someone helps her with groceries but maybe not. You know that neighborhood flooded out in the superstorm a year ago today. You can imagine the mold.

You have a month to imagine who she is and what she needs. You can buy her gifts, but she may not have a secure place to keep them. You can buy her groceries, especially groceries she may not be able to easily transport home from a store. Does she have a car?

Are grocery store gift cards appropriate for your family? If so, please specify the stores where you shop (check all that apply):
Stop & Shop
Fresh Grocer
Wal-Mart

There’s only one Fresh Grocer. It’s in town, probably about half a mile from her apartment. The local Stop & Shops and Walmarts are out of town, some up and down Route 27, some up and down Route 1. She could take buses to those. Maybe they’re near where she works. Any way around it, she probably can’t buy in bulk to feed her children because she can’t transport it, but if she could, can she store bulk items? Can she cook? It is not an absolute lock that she has a stove and an oven, but you’re willing to take some risks.

She only asks for perfume and loose clothing for herself; everything else is for her children. You think about that, don’t you? Who is she? How did she get here? Your co-workers imagine her, trade coupons and sales circulars and pick out things for her. Boxes begin to fill in sensible ways. She and her children will have food, gifts for Christmas and clothes to keep warm all winter. What you do matters.

What will you do?

Who’s To Blame?

(With apologies to the B-52s)

Surprise! Party!

surprise

Yeah, we just thought we’d drop in!

drop in

Where’s your icebox?

icebox

Where’s the punch?

punch

Eww, House-a-tosis!

houseatosis

Who’s to blame when parties really get out of hand?

party gone out of bounds

Who’s to blame when they get poorly planned?

poorly planned

Crashers get bombed

crashers

Slobs make a mess

actual villain

Ya know sometimes they’ll even ruin your wife’s dress

George And Laura Bush Attend Groundbreaking For Bush Presidential Center

Crashers gettin’ bombed. (Who’s to blame?)

who's to

Can you pull it back in line?
Can you salvage it in time?

out of bounds

What can you do to save a party?

a party gone

Parcheesi?

parcheesi

Charades?

charades

A spur-of-the-moment scavenger hunt,

scavenger hunt

Or Queen of the Nile?

queen of the nile

Who turned out the lights?

turn out the lights

Bombed,

bombed - 1

Crashers gettin’ bombed,

bombed - 2

Crashers gettin’ bombed,

TV BILL O'REILLY

Bombed,

bombed - 4

Bombed,

bombed - 5

Bombed,

bombed - 6

Well, who’s to blame?

to blame

Who’s to blame when situations degenerate?

blame 1

Disgusting things you’d never anticipate

People get sick, they play the wrong games

the wrong games

Ya know, it can ruin your name!

Crashers gettin’ bombed. (Who’s to blame?)

who's to blame 3

Can you pull it back in line?

in line

Can you salvage it in time?

it in time

It shouldn’t be difficult!

Try not to condemn!

condemn

O.K. who ordered pizza?

I’ll be tactful when making the rounds

Be tactful when making the rounds

tactful when

And maybe you can save a party…

Debt Showdown

Party gone out of bounds!

completely out of bounds

Gone out of bounds!

disastrous and stupid

Images and videos courtesy of the Intertubes. Thank you, Intertubes.

I Go From Here To A Better State Than This

Fuck you, North Dakota:

FARGO, N.D. — Gov. Jack Dalrymple of North Dakota approved the nation’s toughest abortion restrictions on Tuesday, signing into law a measure that would ban nearly all abortions and inviting a legal showdown over just how much states can limit access to the procedure.

Mr. Dalrymple, a Republican, signed three bills passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature in Bismarck. The most far-reaching law forbids abortion once a fetal heartbeat is “detectable,” which can be as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. Fetal heartbeats are detectable at that stage of pregnancy using a transvaginal ultrasound.

Most legal scholars have said the law would violate the Supreme Court’s finding in Roe v. Wade that abortions were permitted until the fetus was viable outside the womb, generally around 24 weeks. Even some leaders of the anti-abortion movement nationally have predicted that laws banning abortion so early in pregnancy are virtually certain to be declared unconstitutional by federal courts.

“Although the likelihood of this measure surviving a court challenge remains in question, this bill is nevertheless a legitimate attempt by a state legislature to discover the boundaries of Roe v. Wade,” Mr. Dalrymple said in a statement. The Supreme Court, he added, “has never considered this precise restriction” in the heartbeat bill.

“I think there’s a lot of frustration in the pro-life movement,” said Paul B. Linton, a constitutional lawyer in Illinois who was formerly general counsel of Americans United for Life. “Forty years after Roe v. Wade was decided, it’s still the law of the land.”

When women die, when infants suffer needless deaths and tortured lives, when school systems choke, when children go hungry, when poverty wipes clean any hope of a better life, it’s all on you. If the federal courts do not overturn these laws, the blood is on your hands. Fuck you, just fuck you. I hope women leave you and find safe haven elsewhere.

That Something Somewhere Has To Break

On Tuesday, my office cellmate and I went out for a walk down College Avenue at lunchtime. People were rushing in every direction and the sunlight felt pretty good in the warm afternoon. At the corner of Bishop and College, Sigma Delta Tau often holds bake sales for vague causes. “Buy this cookie to prevent child abuse,” is a common refrain. Tuesday, the sorority sisters were running around on the grass, where plastic-wrapped pallets sat on the sharply sloping lawn like odd spines on a stegosaurus. A herd of lanky frat boys lugged another plastic-wrapped pallet up the hill to a spot near the building. Everyone was laughing in the oddly warm December sun. The frat boys scrambled down the hill and in front of us bounced as one body toward a strangely placed 18-wheeler. My cellmate and I walked on, but my back hurt, so at the corner of Hamilton, we turned back.

This time, we could see the truck was nearly empty but the boys were unloading another pallet. It looked heavy. We could see from this angle the pallets were Jingos, some new thing Pepperidge Farms is selling with shouty commercials. Yeah, that one. About twenty pallets dotted the sloping, uneven lawn. It looked like the back of a giant, plastic-wrapped stegosaurus, but in a minute, we had forgotten all about it.

An hour later, my phone rang. A guy who ran an office one floor up wanted to know what a sorority should do with a sudden and shocking abundance of snack crackers after a verbal miscommunication with Pepperidge Farms. I started listing off agencies. The guy was keeping an awesome story to himself, I could tell. I did not want to miss out on whatever it was, so I hung up on him and ran upstairs.

In his office, I found him red-faced and laughing, sitting with a young woman I didn’t know. It developed that she was a member of the lawn snack sorority, which by the way appears to be called EAT at first glance, and some other sorority girl had had a conversation with some PR lackey that might’ve sounded like:

PR dude: Would you mind passing out some of our new snack crackers?
Sorority girl: We – like – would not mind.

And then a truck showed up. The sorority now wanted to know who would accept a donation of thousands of snack-size bags of Jingos because the sage at the local soup kitchen donation line wasn’t answering his phone. Fortunately for the sorority, we just had a hurricane and thousands of people were living in shelters, so I made a list of agencies looking for donations, though I should have mentioned that, not for nothing, there’s a grammar school two blocks away and you know all of those children don’t eat every day. But that slipped my mind. They asked if I wanted some. Thinking of the anti-hunger project, I said sure. The young woman asked how many cases because she brought cases of Jingos with her when she came to work. I said I’d take three for our three families. She disappeared and returned with three cases and a single serving bag, which I gave to one of my co-workers who still has a metabolism and normal blood pressure. Remember how those pallets required a herd of sweaty frat boys? Those boys were pretending to struggle because three cases weighed nothing.

A little while later, I called my sister to tell her a sorority on College Avenue was frantically trying to unload cases of crackers. She said maybe the church could send a car, but how would the driver find the right place? I told her to look for the only building on College Avenue that looked anxious about retaining water, and this was a matter of some urgency because Tuesday night it was going to rain.

Pete drove me to work Wednesday morning. We were gratified to see about half the number of pallets I’d seen were now propped neatly against the building and no food was mildewing on the lawn. From this, I learned that I need more twenty year olds to make cargo-size food errors.