Thursday, August 30, 2007

Darth Swine

This week: a whimsical scene of pigs and homegrown tomatoes and a Darth Vader mask.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

I Prefer Your Whore Sister

One or two readers may remember our bilingual post about the big Zidane incident in the World Cup Final: La-La. Most of us had already forgotten about the villainous man. But no! Materazzi is back, and now he's telling the Italian media exactly what he said to our hero, thus provoking his terrible ire.

From today's El pais, via Reuters, via the Italian media (all of which is owned by Silvio Berlusconi):

El defensa italiano Marco Materazzi ha revelado un año después las palabras exactas que le dijo a Zinedine Zidane en la final de la Copa del Mundo, que provocó que el francés le diera un cabezazo y fuera expulsado del partido. "Prefiero a la puta de tu hermana" fue la frase que desencadenó la ira de Zidane y una de las expulsiones más sonadas de la historia de los mundiales.

So, we guess this is how it played out:

Materazzi pulls on Zidane's shirt. One of many defensive tricks you see in professional soccer.

Zidane says, "If you want my shirt, I'll give it to you after the game."

Materazzi says, "I prefer your whore sister."

Zidane hesitates. Then goes for it.

And Materazzi becomes instantly famous. For a day.

Zidane retires after inspiring blog entries all over the world.

Gotta go. The American Ballroom Challenge (hosted by Marilu Henner) is on PBS right now! OMG.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

More Indiana Pests

You may remember our post about periwinkle. In that post, we mentioned that we hate it.

Since then, we have discovered that other people hate the stuff, too. The Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, for example, put this pesky ground cover on their list of The Worst Invasives in the New York Metropolitan Area.

Paghat the Ratgirl describes a very similar experience with periwinkle, or vinca, to our own on her webpage devoted to gardening. She writes, "Because it was so hard to pull up small mats of it, I would only struggle with it a couple times a week, loosening around the edges one day, shoveling beneath the edges another day, slowly working my way up the row under the shrubs. Eventually it was mostly removed, though bits of it would continue to pop up & be weeded out forever after."

She introduces her ruminations on the nasty plant with a poem by Cicely Mary Barker, and concludes with a bit of history, which we have stolen with her implicit permission for our little blog:

Vinca grew throughout the Roman world, as they brought the plant with them into regions of Roman conquest. Many of the tales of maenads or bacchantes bedecked in ivy probably regard vinca, especially when worn during rituals of death. The association of vinca with death is most ancient, worn as wreathes by human sacrifices, which tradition lingered well into the Middle Ages when vinca was used to garland criminals to be hung from scaffolds until dead. Simon Fraser, the follower of the Scottish hero William Wallace, was in 1306 led in irons through the streets of London enroute to execution, with a garland of vinca on his head. The ancient association of vinca with death in Italy was preserved in a tradition of weaving vinca garlands for dead infants, while in France it was known as "the Violet of Sorceries."

Its name used to be Pervinca or Pervinkle, with sundry other spellings & permutations, having Latin root indicating a band or wreath. This was in time corrupted into Periwinkle, though there is no resemblance to the sea snail. The "band" of periwinkle was a spiritual as well as a literal wreath, & Culpepper records an old tradition that if a man & woman eat vinca together, they will be forever bonded in love, a last echo of vinca's fertility association with the Great Mother, goddess both of death and birth.

UC Davis has some good information on periwinkle elimination, as well as a few words on its provenance and biological makeup: Booya. We find the chemical control section particularly interesting. Perhaps a new strategy is called for.

We still hate periwinkle.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Baby Product Challenge Follow Up

Okay. New development.

Check this out: The ongoing baby product challenge has yielded a surprising new twist! Washcloths made--not in China--but in Turkey! This discovery was made yesterday as we wiped greasy brown cottage cheesy doo-doo off our baby's butt with this fine Turkish-produced washcloth.

So it's not all made in China. My bad.

Did we mention that our baby is shade grown organic?

Friday, August 10, 2007

Today's Baby Challenge

Okay, readers. Ready?

Here is today's baby product challenge. In order to participate, you will need one (1) baby and one (1) place to put that baby. (Babysitters and in-laws can also participate!) We suggest using the Baby Einstein (c) Jumper to store your sleeping baby during this challenge, because you are going to need two hands. We recommend feeding the baby just before putting him/her down, because you are going to also need about two (2) hours.

Got that baby squared away? Great. Here is step number two:

Go into the baby's room.

Are you in the baby's room yet? Good. Here is step three:

This is the main part of today's baby challenge: Okay, now go find one item that was not manufactured in China. Go!

Time elapse.

Still looking? Try the clothes bin!

Time elapse.

How about those toys over there in the corner!

Time elapse.

This is a tough baby challenge, isn't it?

Today's lesson is: All baby and child products are manufactured in China. It was a trick challenge! (Don't be frightened by the US media. Remember that Chinese manufacturers are not the enemy! American retailers are the enemy! But remember that this is just a game!)

Check back next week for a new challenge: Identify That Liquid!

Also forthcoming: The Home Baby Product Conversion Workshop:

How to turn that Baby Einstein (c) Jumper into a Baby Eisenstein Montage Kit.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Speaking of Indiana Pests

Just when you thought it couldn't get any more uncomfortable:

It's 4:12 a.m., the baby has been fed every hour since 10:00 p.m., he's been changed, he's warm and dry and snug, but he's still crying, and you think you are going to lose your sanity because you just want to get a half hour's sleep. Then you hear something in the hallway. You step out of the bedroom and something brown and fast whizzes past your face. Your eyes are still blurry and your head aches from the lack of sleep. You figure it's your imagination. Like in the movie Fight Club, in which the narrator has a psychotic break that springs from his lack lack of sleep. So now you start to think up new scenarios for a club of your own. Maybe you too will use this new fight club as a springboard for your own subversive anarchist reform agenda. Maybe you will figure out a way to turn your underground clout into a method of ridding Lake Michigan of its industrial polluters...

But no. It's not in your head. You are not having a psychotic break. It is indeed something brown and fast flying back and forth down your hallway. It's a bat. And this time it's personal.

So. Have any of our (2) readers had any experience with home bat removal? We are open to suggestions on how to get this thing out of our house. We have called American Animal Control, and they are coming out tomorrow to take a look at our attic. They did a really nice job on our moles last summer, so we are hopeful. But we still have another night to spend with our bat friend. As we write this blog, he is sleeping somewhere in the basement. He is enjoying his much needed rest after a long night of exploring our house and (probably) trying to eat our baby.

We guess it makes sense. This is a house of night dwellers, now. We sleep by day and feed by night. We are CHUD.

And boy, do we have a headache.

Wanna join our club?