Music Monday: Rilo Kiley/Jenny Lewis

...and here we are, back to single acts for a week rather than an overall theme. It's about time that Rilo Kiley and its lead singer, Jenny Lewis make an appearance here. I'm sure most of you will be familiar with the band, as well as Jenny Lewis' solo efforts, but as it's my job to compile, here I am. I tried to get The Dude to listen to Rilo Kiley back in the day, and he was all, "Whatevs. Where's my Rocky IV soundtrack bitch?" I'm paraphrasing, but it sounds about right.

Now, I need your opinions on the manner in which Music Monday is presented. I do sometimes struggle sourcing some of the music on YouTube - either it perhaps a bit too obscure, or due to copyright and the like, videos can't be shown. Because of this, I may change to a more common song, or perhaps leave you with some godawful fan interpretation video which inevitably sucks.

On the other hand, it's nice to watch music videos if they're well done. I have at times put up live performances as well, which, depending on the artist, can be quite entertaining. It gives you something to actually look at, which is kind of the point of a blog.

When visiting DefiantMuse the other day (on her blog, not in real life, if only...), I noticed she had a handy dandy playlist embedded within her blog post. You can select which songs you want to listen to, and you can pop it out as well. Genius!

So my question obviously is - which do you prefer? I'll put them both on here, and you can judge for yourselves. I'm the world's most indecisive person, so no doubt I'll do both every single week. I aim to please you see.

Wait, who was I even blogging about? Oh yeah, Rilo Kiley!

The Moneymaker:

Silver Lining:

The Frug:


Portions for Foxes:

Jenny Lewis feat. Watson Twins

Rise Up with Fists:

Born Secular:

The Charging Sky:



There we are. Let me know which you prefer - make your voice heard!

ETA: The playlist doesn't show when I view the page, so that's helpful. However, it seems to work once I click on "Pop out player". I think I can tell what direction these votes will go in now...Playlist bastards!



You know you are getting older (less than a month to 30 as of yesterday) when your ideal evening is spent laying on the couch with a tub of Ben & Jerry's, watching one of the last episodes ever of The Wire. Throw a bit of blog-reading in there and I may simply expire from the sheer enjoyment factor.

This can only be surpassed by tomorrow night's plans - pizza and soda, and the final two episodes of The Wire. The hedonistic (yes, this is what passes for hedonism in Chez Pru) qualities of the evening will however be compromised when the finality of my viewing hits me. It will be like a close relative has died. Sigh.

This pseudo post is more of a PSA than anything else. If you haven't watched The Wire, you shouldn't own a television. That is all. Inane rant and random post complete.


Window into my world

This expression is forever immortalised in the relationship between my brother and me. My Aunt, card-carrying, flag-waving member of the Brain Trust, always begs him for a "window into his world" when she speaks to him on the phone. I suppose she feels like there needs to be some conversational equity as she opens windows, nay, large french doors into her world all the time - telling my brother about the spontaneous sex she had with her socially inept, oddball boyfriend (or as she put it, "I can tell you, he was most appreciative"), musing at length on her favourite brand of enema, and most harmlessly, the latest bargains scored at Salvation Army.

My window is not so scandalous nor repellent. It may, perhaps, be just as uninvited, but this is a cross you will have to bear.

I had a moment of epiphany the other night in which I was preparing lunch for the next day, chicken hummus wraps. I was spreading sea salt and black pepper hummus on some garlic and coriander wraps, tearing up some fresh spinach, and listening to Folk Alley. I was blissfully in touch with my earth mother side, a facet of me that is always trying to peek out, but is often beaten down by the highly strung, consumerist working mother which dominates.

Now, this is a bit like invasion of the blog snatchers, but I'm going to tell you how to make these delicious wraps. I feel the need to share the wealth because these fuckers are culinary heaven. It's not a recipe as such, since you just adjust the quantities based on the number of people you're preparing them for. Sometimes I make four (2 for me, 2 for The Dude), but the past few times I've had to make 6-8 as various colleagues were salivating over the mere sight of them.

All you need is some cooked chicken, tortillas, fresh spinach (or other greens), dash of pepper, the hummus of your choice, and some chili oil. Spread the hummus on the wraps, add the spinach and chicken, and sprinkle on the pepper. The chili oil is best applied right before eating, and a little goes a long way. It makes a very good, healthy, and low-GI lunch. TRY IT.

Ahem. Leaving my Nigellaness aside, this window must include a glimpse of my insane child. As mentioned previously, P has an awareness of bodily functions and I encourage this. It is obvious that I would like her to deal with these situations in a polite way, hence the encouragement of "pardon". I dread her being one of those obnoxious kids who burp and fart and think it's absolutely hilarious. I have The Dude under strict instructions to not laugh when she farts, even if she says (and no doubt she does), "I fot". Now we have connected farting and the bum, so occasionally we are treated to "I fot fum bum", in case we were not aware of the origin of a fart. She often grabs her bum at the same time, to further illustrate this very scientific occurrence. The other day we were sitting on the sofa together and she farted. The little minx looked at me and said, "Mum did a fot." I can assure you, I did no such thing. Full of wind and deceptive, this toddler of mine.

She knows where she can find the bum of her Mama (regardless of its flatness), and the bum of her Dad. We were in the supermarket the other day and as I was pushing the trolley along she pulled up my shirt and shouted, "MUM'S BUM! MUM'S BUM!" I tried desperately to simultaneously pull down my top, push the trolley, and shush her, but she carried on for half an aisle, "MUM'S BUM! MUM'S BUM!" I despair that as I have taught her the word "vulva" (or, in P speak, "bulba"), this could lead to many an embarrassing social situation.

Poo and wee are of course an interest as well, with the highlight of a recent park visit the sight of a dog pooping. For the next day there was much babbling of "Doggie. Park. Pooping." My mum asked her what she saw in the park, and I think you know what she said. The memories of 45 solid minutes of playground equipment time, running down pigeons and offering them a toy car, or playing football with her Dad evaporated. It's all about poop.

Lest there be a body fluid or gross physical occurrence which hasn't received attention, P has recently discovered boogies, or as they refer to them here "bogies". I have no idea where she picked up (HA!) this word, but she now has verbal accompaniment to her near constant nose-picking. I couldn't get her out of her car seat today because her finger was so far up her nose that I couldn't get the strap from around her arm. She looked at me, furrowed her brow, and said thoughtfully, "Hmmm...bogies".

So there is my window, no doubt smeared with snot and saliva. Charming.


Music Monday: Possibly/Hopefully New to You

Is it weird I think of you when I'm listening to my iPod? Songs come up which make me want to preach of their brilliance, and as my husband isn't interested in any music which isn't a lite rock ballad from the 80s (Phil Collins) or a contemporary girl band (Sugababes) you are the victims I'm afraid. Actually, you're not really victims, as you can choose not to hit play on any of these, as no doubt some of you do. Be advised though, you don't know what you're missing.

This week's theme is music which I hope will serve as your first introduction to these bands/singers. It's hardly as if I've picked little-known acts, I'm not that much of a hipster. I subscribe to a lot of music blogs and I listen to independent radio stations, no underground knowledge here.

We'll start out with something a bit peppy, Mr Hudson and The Library, "Too Late, Too Late", a snazzy little contemporary ska number. Little fact - when promoting their album they played...libraries. A band that does a tour of libraries. Awesome. Anyone else fancy the singer too? Shut up, I like a man in a suit. Sexay.

She and Him: You Really Got a Hold On Me

"She" is the actress Zooey Deschanel (Elf, The Happening, etc) and "Him" is the singer M. Ward

Bat for Lashes: What's a Girl to Do

Ben Harper feat. Blind Boys of Alabama: I Shall Not Walk Alone

I'm sure quite a few of you will be familiar with Ben Harper, who is somehow married to the plainer-than-plain Laura Dern. I think you'll agree, he's far too hot for her. Also, what is this preoccupation of mind with hot singers? It's like I'm a friggin' groupie. Ugh.

Cat Power: Lived in Bars

Some of her songs in my iTunes are classified as "easy listening", which, I assure you, she is not. I shudder at the thought of having this classification of music on my mp3 player.

Joanna Newsom: Book of Right On

Wacky and delightful. That is all.

Kate Maki: Blue Morning

One of my new Canadian obsessions. Love, LOVE this woman. I always read comparisons to Lucinda Williams (also, love), but I feel like comparisons always diminish the individuality of the artist being discussed. Anyway, Kate Maki might sound like Lucinda Williams.

The Knife: Marble House

I included The Knife a couple of weeks ago, but as it was a different song I've given myself permission to include them again here.

The National: Fake Empire

Some uplifting music. Heh.

The Streets: Blinded by the Lights

Beware, it's the evil rap music, or as a colleague in her late 50s calls it, "the hippity hop". I suppose technically it's "garage", but whatever. Don't worry, I don't have the hots for this guy, though he did once talk about how much he worships Johnny Cash...

StellaStarr*: My Coco

I'll end this on a jolly note, just as this post began. I would have preferred an album version versus a live one, but all of those are unembeddable because StellaStarr* are the biggest band in the world or something. Either that, or they're a band who had a random fun little single four years ago and nothing since. I'm not sure which...


Meme and such

I have had no time lately for anything but work, child-rearing, husband-appeasing, and cooking. Oh, it's a jolly good lark. As such, I have forgotten what NCLM even is, and have fallen far behind in all my commenting. My apologies to all of you, and I shall catch up shortly. Tomorrow night is my night to stay up and blog/watch trashy TV as ordained by a spousal agreement which states that I can do that and sleep in on Saturday mornings, and The Dude gets his chance to sleep in on a Sunday morning.

I have about ten minutes, no more, until I will fall into a deep slumber, so pardon me for blogging another meme. It's dreadfully tiresome of me, I know - assuming people want to read me answer questions about myself. This is what those who question the reasons behind blogging use as evidence about bloggers' complete self-absorption. Oops, I've fallen right into that cliche trap.

Ten years after the fact, completed by every blogger worth his/her self-obsessed salt, as tagged by Brigindo:

1. What was I doing 10 years ago?

Ten years ago I was 19, very nearly 20. I was depressed, gaining PCOS weight, and rotting away at community college because my Dad spent my limited college funds on gambling and alcohol. I had a job I hated in a sporting goods store, tried a list of anti-depressants, and visited a therapist who pinned all my problems on alleged emotional neglect I experienced as a child. I had no such memory of this neglect, but she was convinced this was the answer because it would have had made her job easier. I had been with The Dude for about a year at this point, much of it spent a continent away from him.

2. Five things on my to do list for today.

Today is only with me for another 49 minutes, so for tomorrow - making a salad for lunch, finally wading through painful work emails, possibly apply for yet another job, visit MIL, and cosying up on the sofa for a night of blog reading and general debauchery. That's called living.

3. Snacks I enjoy.

I am currently obsessed with Sainsbury's Feta Hoummous as a dip for fresh carrots, celery and broccoli. I had to stop short yesterday of smearing it all over my boobs and writhing in ecstasy. It is some good shit, let me tell you.

4. Things I would do if I was a billionaire.

The Dude seriously worries about us winning a large sum of money because he fears I would give it all away. He's a realist, clearly. I'm a consumerist, I'll admit it, but I also realise you only need so much. I would ensure both sides of the family are comfortable - pay off my Mom's mortgage, finish putting my brother through college, and get him health insurance as well. My goal in life, realistically, is to try and make just a tiny bit of difference to a lot of people. If I was a billionaire, the extent to which I could do this is dizzying. Unfortunately, the university academic administration business doesn't yield such financial rewards.

5. Places I have lived.

Born and raised in South-Central Pennsylvania. Speaking of which, I seem to have picked up some new readers in that location and I'm simultaneously freaked out and curious. I digress, as per usual. I now live in the South of England, and have for the past (nearly) 6 years.

6. People I want to know more about.

There is no one on earth who has yet to do this meme I think, and I'm too much of a habitual fence-sitter to actually tag someone. If this meme has piqued your interest, go for it. You're all fascinating and engaging women.


Music Monday: James (redux)

This may appear to be laziness, but I'm actually rather inspired.

I went to see James last night, and they were as wonderful as expected. Also, my James-loving girls out there, I can hook you up with an not very exciting venue pamphlet with a big old James advert on the front if you so desire. You know, to decorate your cubicle or refridgerator to give that I'm-quite-cosmopolitan-and-I-listen-to-music-you've-never-heard-of vibe.

As you may have gathered, music is very important to me. So much so, I actually had to tell The Dude at the beginning of two of the songs (Tomorrow & Out to Get You for the two people who give a shit) that I would probably get teary. Fast forward mere moments later when yes, I did cry. With regard to "Out to Get You", I actually had some tears streaming down my face. I must have (quite rightly) looked like a mad woman, swaying to the music, mouthing the lyrics, and crying. Welcome to my emotionally unbalanced world. I'm a freak, right?

I could pontificate on why James' lyrics are so important to me, but that would be boring, and no doubt cheesy. Essentially, the truth and power of their lyrics resonated with me at a time when depression and lonliness dominated my days. To hear these songs live makes all of the resulting emotions flood back. I'm 15, sobbing to my Mom that I hate being me. I'm 19 realising that the body I had just the previous year wasn't as bad as I thought. I'm 23, in a new country, starting a new life. Now here I am, nearly 30, in this country which is now my home, a mother, a wife, still singing along to the same song. Life has changed dramatically, but the music is a constant.

In case anyone wants to have a listen to this song that embarrassingly brought me to tears, "Out to Get You":

My question to you is - what musician/band/song does this for you? What song, or performer would bring/has brought you to tears based on your connection?

I'm assuming I'm not the only soppy git out there. Please don't prove me wrong.

P.S. For the James fans out there, there is another song that would evoke even more crying than the first two I mentioned - Lullaby (off Laid). Sob. Lucky for me they would probably never perform it.


The bride stripped bare

I took yet another leisurely half day today so that I could take P to the weekly gathering of our Mums and (now)Toddlers group, which I have not attended in at least 6 months. I was excited about catching up with the other mums and seeing how much the other kids had grown and their speech developed. However, as there is always one of those popping up in nearly every tale of mine, I spent most of the time trying not to cry and telling myself that I needn't leave 2 hours early much as I wanted to.

One of the other mothers, a mere slip of a thing, has recently been diagnosed with PCOS, the syndrome/disease/ruiner of a happy life which I have. This woman is truly pocket-sized, in that she is about 5'4 and can't weigh more than 90 lbs. As soon as I heard her say PCOS, I panicked, as all of the other women know that I too have PCOS and that it accounts for my pleasing plumpness. I knew they were looking at her and thinking, "She's so thin - she may snap in half just picking up a plastic fork!", then turning to look at me and no doubt musing, "That one, on the other hand, has guided far too many plastic forks loaded with massive lumps of cheesecake into her gaping maw, so what's the deal here?"

The operative word here is "thinking" - as in, these thoughts may have occurred to them, yet they didn't verbalise them. However, the kind lady sitting to my right, never known for her tact actually said, "So you both have the same problem and in you it makes you underweight, and it makes you (Pru) overweight?" Oh no she didn't just...

Yeah, she totally did. Not a waking hour of my life goes by without me lamenting my weight, and prior to this act of aggression I was sitting there, feeling fat, cumbersome, and frumpy. Clearly all that I needed was to have my name verbally connected to "overweight". This statement has imprinted itself onto my brain, just like every other casually ignorant statement that family and acquaintances have said to me in the past 10 years since I gained the PCOS weight. It keeps the company of "Only fat women have big boobs - sorry Pru, but it is true" (said by brother-in-law to make his flat-chested wife feel better), "Us larger girls need to stick together" (said by a former co-worker easily 80lbs heavier than me), and "Most clothes don't flatter bodies like ours" (said by my mother, a woman both heavier and more ill-proportioned than me).

So thank you to all of the people that carve even more chinks into my already-flimsy, damaged self-esteem. I need to have another reason to hate myself so much that I feel I need to feel a lot of physical pain in an effort to lessen the emotional pain. Thank you for further making me question how I will ever be a good mother to a daughter.



I sometimes feel like this blog is one of those Seinfeldian blogs about nothing. When I was going through IF treatment there was an obvious theme to be had. Logic would dictate that once I spawned successfully, this blog would be about my daughter. Oddly enough, I don't blog of her often, but I don't avoid her purposefully. Instead, I seem to ramble about random stuff largely unrelated to IF, pregnancy, and motherhood. I think I've trained myself to not be one of those women by talking of P constantly, a mindset which has carried over to my blogging life. Much to the chagrin of the NCLM populace I imagine, I have made it my vow to talk about P more.

So here we are. P is staring down the barrel of two, as she'll hit that landmark on the 19th of July. I don't know where those two years have disappeared to, but suddenly a little girl has taken my baby away. My blog, at least in my own deluded world, is a more avant garde approach to...nothing and everything. As such, I thought I'd tell you about some of P's idiocyncracies and odder moments.

She loves to be commanding and dictatorial. Some of her favourite phrases are, "Eat it!", "Get up!", "More! More!" (occasionally followed by "pwees"), "Out!" and "Read it!" Often P brings me a sticky nasal surprise on the tip of her pointer finger, waves it in my face, shouting "Eat it! Eat it!" When actual food is involved I say "You eat it!" in response to her demands, but I don't need to provoke her when it comes to her own snot. She's more than happy to snack on it without my invitation.

I have dreams that P will take after me in her interests - books, music, and the arts. It's possible this may still happen; P does love a good book on farm animals, though her favourite music (nursery rhymes and "Umbrella" by Rihanna) leave much to be desired. If you say, "You can stand under my umbrella" to her, she will run around for the next five minutes saying, "Ella ella". Her father is a lover of numbers, finance, and business concepts. My child counts like a motherfucker, and every object in life is meant to be turned into a series of numbers. No book can be read, no television show watched without an obsessive concern with quantity. Eight cars! Two dogs! Three moons! Always! said! with! such! enthusiasm!

P is so English, it kills me - in a good way of course. She doesn't say a hard "r", which I know is also down to her age and immature speech patterns, but to hear her say "beah" for "bear", "cah" for "car", amongst others. Her terminology is endearingly polite in its Britishness. She says "pardon" when she farts ("I fot") or burps, "pwees" when she wants something, "ta" when she gets it, and uses the word "trousers" instead of "pants".

P had a teacher at daycare whom she loved, Jemma. Jemma is tall, blond, and some would consider her attractive. I used to joke with The Dude that he was totally warm for her form, much denial ensued, blah blah blah. Jemma left recently for a new job, and P has struggled to cope with this loss. When I ask her who she has seen at school that day, she always starts with Jemma. She has just started saying, "Jemma. Bye-bye. In cah, wid daddy" Not surprisingly, Daddy has absolutely no memory of driving into the sunset with the nubile nursery teacher. Oh, the mileage I have gotten out of this phrase, a phrase which P repeats at least five or six times every day.

Ever since P was old enough to start to develop a discernable personality, I've had an idea that she is going to be quite a handful. She is mischevious, rambunctious, and has a definite predisposition to cheeky naughtiness. Last week I was holding her and she slapped me three times on the boob. I asked her to stop, and she looked at me quizically, paused, and said, "Five!", alluding to high five. She actually tried to evade getting into trouble by pretending she was trying to give me a high five and I was the one not cooperating. Now I'm nervous that she's going to be a brilliant criminal mastermind, or a devious seductress serial killer.

I should also take this time to mention that not once have I sworn in front of P, er, at least not since she could pick up language anyway. Oh,and that time two weeks ago when The Dude was totally kicking me whilst I was down (emotionally) and I shouted, "Fuck off already you fucking asshole!", to which P shouted gleefully, "FUN!" It appears as if my foul language did not clearly fall on her innocent ears. When I was pregnant, someone commented on here that my child would surely be dropping f and c bombs with the frequency that other children talk about Dora. I'm pleased to announce that ha! - of this moment this is not so. Ok, so she does say "fuck" instead of "fork", and "fuck" also manages to be "soap" (??), but that is obviously just a linguistic toddlerian flaw, not a repeat of my vulgarities. I am but a lady, after all.

Since I'm pushing the boat out here and not shutting the fuck up about my kid, I'll make you view some pictures as well because I am just that cruel. These are from our little trip to the beach the other day. Her toes touched the water briefly about 546 times, she saw a large older woman sunbathing topless, played with two dead crabs, and took a gulp of saltwater mixed with sand from her bucket. It was a good day.


Music Monday: Get up and go

I'm straying from the one-artist thing yet again and going for an overarching theme, which, this week, is music to work out/walk/skip to. I'm not doing much of that kind of thing these days, lazy cow that I am, but when I do, this is what I'm listening to on my iPod. Be forewarned, there is no disco here, no 80s bubblegum pop. If I'm going to exercise, I'd better be listening to hard rock or rap/hip hop. I'm so street it hurts. Now, I know this audience isn't the hip hop type, so feel free to scratch this off as a wasted Music Monday.

Lil Kim: The Jump Off

Iggy and the Stooges: I Wanna Be Your Dog (audio only)

Sex Pistols: Anarchy in the UK

N.E.R.D. : Rockstar (audio only)

System of a Down: Toxicity

Pharrell feat. Gwen Stefani: Can I Have It Like That

Jay-Z: Dirt Off Your Shoulders (audio only - all video was unembeddable, which yes, is now a word)

Jay-Z: 99 Problems

Arctic Monkeys: I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor

The Dropkick Murphys: I'm Shipping Up to Boston

The Knife: Heartbeats

The Libertines: What a Waster (audio only)

Mint Royale feat. Lauren Laverne: Don't Falter

The Von Bondies: C'mon C'mon

The White Stripes: Hotel Yorba

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Pin

What are your high energy choices?

To end this Music Monday on a high note, guess who is going to see JAMES next Saturday night? Yes, me. Going to see James. Please tell me how jealous you are so I can gloat.


Sex, cities, and married gay boys

The Dude was kind enough to take a half day with me today so we could satisfy my need to see Sex and the City. He pretends this is a great sacrifice which should be rewarded in blow jobs and mutual repeated viewings of the Rambo films, but he always genuinely enjoyed the show. If I catch an episode on TV, he can usually be found in the room pretending to be otherwise occupied, yet he still manages to laugh in all the right places. Just last week, when stuck in the car for a lengthy journey, he suggested we rank our favourite Sex and the City men. If that's not bad enough, he then argued the merits of my choices for at least half an hour. He obviously has a lot of emotions invested in the programme.

With that said, here are some interesting excerpts from the "Wait - am I actually at this movie with my husband, or some camp male friend?" cinema-going experience from today. Him, said during the film:

"That is a great light fixture."

"Oh my god, look at that (walk-in)closet!"

Just when you don't think things could get any more flamboyant(after the film, over dinner):

"So, what is the expensive shoe hierarchy? Would you say Louboutins are the creme de la creme, then Manolos, then Jimmy Choos? That's what I perceive it to be."

"What was your favourite pair of shoes in the movie?" (upon hearing my response): "Oh yeah, those were nice."

"The Vivienne Westwood dress was my favourite from the Vogue shoot. You wouldn't expect Vivienne Westwood to come up with something that normal, would you?"

This is my husband. I have absolutely no friends who watch Sex and the City, so I should be thankful I can discuss this with The Dude, my new BFF.


In completely unrelated news, my Cheese Wife, Cheese Aunt to my firstborn, Molly, has moved her blog again, woman of mystery that she is. No longer cloaked in darkness, she can be found here: http://piquantmolly.wordpress.com/

Go there. Read. Love her as I love her, but not too much because she is totally mine. We've met you know. There was minimal boob cupping, some tongue, and some ass slapping. There was also much viewing of nerdy television and poring over WWII letters. I just want you to realise that you can't possibly mimic nor surpass the bond that we have. I will fight for her.

Last, but not least, I leave you with this...



I'm pleased to hear so many of you were in the same place as me back in the 1990s. Other Sassy readers? Seriously? I didn't even know anyone else who read it when I was a teenager. I must have been the only cool kid in Bumblefuck, PA. Obviously.

Before I seamlessly glide into my topic today, I completely forgot a song which formed a vital centrepiece to my teenagers years - Mazzy Star, "Fade Into You". How could I let this slip my mind? Bless you and your lovely, smoky voice Hope Sandoval (btw, she is fortyfuckingtwo in a few weeks people. 42!)

Moving right along...When I wrote a post after returning from my trip home to Pennsylvania last summer, I failed to mention one of the oddest elements to my trip -The Ferret Stroker. I referenced the Brain Trust - stalwarts in my tales of bizarre family dynamics, talked at great length about meeting my Cheese Hand for the first time, but Ferret Stroker only entered into the story when Molly dropped a mention of him in the comments section. Inspired by Molly's post today about her nutty co-workers, I felt I had to share new developments in Ferret Strokerdom.

TFS hasn't warranted his own post until now. Sure, he cuts a strange figure, always found leaning against the side of his house, ferret in hand. If I remember correctly he is balding, but not the cool kind. He is one of those men who is nearly bald on top, but lives on an alternate planet where having that kind of baldness paired with a long, thin, greasy ponytail is fashionable. When we were visting, he always seemed to be wearing cut off denim shorts, and dare I say there was stonewashing on view. Stonewashing. TFS is married to a shrewish rake of a woman who shuns bras. She does not have the mammary bounty which I have been blessed with, but constant bralessness favours no woman, I'm sorry. It's ok when you're 12, not ok when one is in her 30s.

I heard rumblings from my brother that The Ferret Stroker was kicking up a fuss over the loudness of my Mom's dogs. In his defense, her dogs are noisy, and I'm not too keen on them myself. However, TFS's objections have reached rather controversial levels. It all started when he drove by the house and yelled, "Shut those fucking dogs up!" to my brother and his girlfriend who were standing outside at the time. When contfronted by my Mom later, TFS denied this outburst despite the fact that they live in a downtown area in which the road is about a foot from the sidewalk, and thankfully there aren't many men in that area who resemble The Ferret Stroker.

A couple of weeks ago my Mom noticed that all of the plants along their shared fence had died. In one day. At around the same time, she found white powder by her fish pond, and one of the fish died. Dog biscuits were left at her front and back gates, also covered with white powder. One of her dogs at half a biscuit before she could wrestle it out of his mouth, and he refused food for the next day.

My Mom, ever the feisty redhead, instantly drafted a letter to distribute throughout the neighbourhood outlining the actions of this anonymous aggressor. As she was reading it to me over the phone, I could hear shouting in the background. The Ferret Stroker was having a breakdown at a driver who dared drive past his house with bass blaring. Horrible, appalling racial epithets, the likes of which always make my skin crawl and sadden me that such ignorance is so boldly displayed. After a string of this vileness, he randomly yelled in the direction of my Mom's house, "Fucking dog-loving pussy bitch!", just for good measure.

I write posts every once in awhile mocking her, as we are two so very different people and the woman is straight up crazy, but no one says stuff like that to my cute, little lovable Mom. Not that it's ever acceptable to call anyone a "fucking dog-loving pussy bitch", but that seems particularly inappropriate when you are a grown man who spends most of your day smoothing a rodent.

I, at Molly's insistence over gmail chat, told my Mom that she could call the police as that sort of public outburst and usage of threatening language is beyond unacceptable. She did as commanded, though naturally the police can't actually do anything.

My Mom went to TFS's house the next day to try and discuss this matter logically, but only TFS's braless wife was home. Her excuse for his crazy ass behaviour? THE STROKER RAN OUT OF WEED. A man in his 30s can't restrain his racist and abusive outbursts because he has no marijuana. What can one say to this? He is certainly not going to be given Brain Trust status anytime soon with that attitude. Shame really, since all they are really missing is a man with a ferret fixation.


Music Monday: Nostalgia

This week we're taking a trip back in time - to the early 1990s. These were the years I wrote horrendous poetry about being invisible to boys, burned patchouli incense like it was fuel for the depressed mind, and "designed" my own clothes thanks to the encouragement of Sassy magazine. Those were the days, my friends.

I don't necessarily like all of these songs, they are just songs that take me back every time I hear them. You know how, as a high schooler, you were generally miserable and hated life? You thought about how wonderful life would be once you were relieved of all the pettiness, the angst, and perceived pressures of high school life. That was me, but when I hear some of these songs I wonder if it was all as bad as I made it out to be, or if I really am creating my own revisionist history by thinking it wasn't.

Anyway, there's a little bit of everything here.

Bush: Machinehead

I used to have a Gavin Rossdale poster above my bed. Yeah, I know. Still, he has aged well, hasn't he? HASN'T HE? You know you'd do him, so shut up with your judging.

Violent Femmes: Add it Up

P and I were dancing to this over dinner tonight. Well, I say dancing, I was dancing, she was bopping along in her highchair. Dancing to Violent Femmes with my kid. This is what I'd always hoped it to be.

Live: I Alone

Live are from the same general place as I am in Central PA. I remember thinking that was really cool back in the day, like I was also somewhat notable by extension.

Pearl Jam: Alive

I never really liked Pearl Jam, but pretended I did because it was the cool thing to do. Ironically, I like one of their songs off the "Into the Wild" soundtrack, now that they are classified as old man rockers. I fear what this says about me.

Smashing Pumpkins: Today

I think this, amongst some other Smashing Pumpkins songs, most typify what this time was for me. Sigh.

Belly: Feed the Tree

Probably a Sassy-influenced choice, as I dictated most of my life by Sassy's articles and reviews.

The Breeders: Cannonball

Definite Sassy recommendation.

Hole: Miss World

I've just reminded myself that there is a slow-paced Hole song that I really, really like. I guess I know what I'll be doing after I get the ironing done.

Blind Melon: No Rain

Again, never particularly a Blind Melon fan, but who can resist this song?

Happy Monday everyone. Thanks for the lovely comments about my HUGE AND UNSURMOUNTABLE REJECTION FROM WHICH I WILL NEVER RECOVER. Ahem. I am at Stage 2 of the grieving process, Anger, so I suspect I will reach the final stage, Acceptance, by 4.27pm on Tuesday. Again, thank you.