Honey, I’m HOME

and glad to be back. I may or may not expound on the conference (and you’ll be happier if I don’t – borrrrring).

A few other random things

From LYD:



On getting used to things:

I know someone (used to, anyway) who lived by a train. There was a 2 a.m. train that would come by every night. It woke me right up when I stayed over night there. The person who lived there only woke up if the train was late. True Story.


On auto-flushing:

I withdrew $100 Wednesday from an ATM in the hotel lobby and stuck it in my jeans pocket.

During a session a little later, I went to the bathroom. Did my business, got up from the toilet and the thing flushed before I was all the way straightened up. The toilets there did that. A lot.

I turned around, yanked my pants up, and the roll of twenty dollar bills fell out of my pocket and into the toilet. The toilet flushed again and I watched horrified as the water swirled past my $100 in the well of the toilet. The bills fluttered, but more or less stayed put. I was afraid to move, thinking I’d trigger the flush reflex again. I also flashed on that old Polish joke about the guy who lost 80 cents down the outhouse hole, and since that wasn’t worth going in after, he threw a hundred dollar bill down there, too. Ha Ha.

I bit the bullet and reached down, plucked the money out and got out of there. It flushed again, but I beat it. I had to wash the money in the sink and dry it between paper towels, all the while hoping that no one I who knew me from the conference would walk in. I patted everything dry and distributed it between 5 different pockets. I figured 5 damp pockets were better than one big wet lump and the bills would dry faster.

Later that same day, my boarding pass jumped out of my pocket and toward the autoflush but this time I was ready for it and caught it before it hit the water. True story.


I must tell you about one of my seatmates on the flight. Weird story, I’ll do it tonight.

Word of the Day

Word of the Day for Friday, April 11, 2008

caesura sih-ZHUR-uh; -ZUR-, noun;
plural caesuras or caesurae sih-ZHUR-ee; -ZUR-ee:

1. A break or pause in a line of verse, usually occurring in the middle of a line, and indicated in scanning by a double vertical line; for example, “The proper study || of mankind is man” [Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man].
2. Any break, pause, or interruption.

After an inconclusive day spent discussing the caesura of “Sonnet”‘s opening line, Luke and his colleagues went for cocktails at Strabismus.
— Martin Amis, Heavy Water and Other Stories

The crucial event of the Robedaux family occurs offscreen, in a narrative caesura between the film’s two “acts.”
— Richard Corliss, “The Patter of Little Footes”, Time, May 13, 1985


–==++   TopFive’s News Headlines   ++==–

Olympic Torch Bearer Sets Fire to Tibetan Monk

Police Describe “Horrific Scene” at Hansel and Gretal Daycare

Gun Pried From Charlton Heston’s Cold, Dead Fingers

Fed Arranges for Bear Sterns to Marry, Divorce Paul McCartney

New Freudian Cookbook Features Mostly Banana/Melon Recipes

Credits: David Kass (1), Jerry L. Embry (2,5), Wiley (3),
Danny Gallagher (3), Stuart Johnson (3), Bill Muse (4)

Send submissions to headlines@topfive.com

Down home

I’m here in Louisville (loo’avul if you’re local) Kentucky.  My packing anxiety is resolved, I look better than half the people and worse than the other half.  It’s all good.  No swimming opportunities, thank jeebus.  The three hour time difference has kicked my arse as usual. I should be used to it right around the time I leave for home.  Yay!

Packing anxiety again

Happy Birthday to me! It’s been pretty low key so far. I’m trying to put the celebratory aspect off until after I get back. Bob bought me the groovy Flip video recorder which is the best thing since digital cameras, I think.  Wait, it IS a digital camera of sorts.   I’ve played around with it a little and it’s really as easy as it looks.

I’m packing again. Off to Kentucky in the morning for another work/education conference. I wish someone would pack for me. I’m the worst packer on the planet. I never pack the right stuff, maybe because my clothes are crap. Maybe I’m just insecure. (yes) Where I’m going requires business casual (which is Dressy to me), which is not the same as California casual. Which I can do. Sort of. Every day to work, in fact.

Anyway, I’m holding up pants and shoes and shirts. Up and down. Will it be comfortable all day? Will I have to hold my stomach in all day? Do I have any shoes to match? Do I have to take a belt? How many pairs of shoes should I take? Can I walk in the shoes back and forth across that big hotel and down to wherever the keynote is? Go out to dinner in whatever outfit I’m in? Does any of my clean stuff NOT have animal hair embedded in it? (No). Which bra will work with the shirt/blouse and can I stand to wear it all day? Do I need my bathing suit? If I take it, will I have the guts to expose my wrinkled white flesh to the public eye? (No). If I decide I do need to swim or sunbathe, should I bring a coverup to wear to the pool or count on a robe at the hotel or? I’m not riding in the elevator in a bathing suit. No way. I’ll have to see these people again.

You know what the real problem here is? I never pay any attention to what anyone else has on or what they might wear down to the pool or to dinner or whatever. What kind of jeans legs are in style now? I think last year might have been very tight to the ankle. Or maybe it was boot cut. I don’t know. I am the least observant person on the planet about things like this. I have no fashion gene and it just haunts me sometimes because I DO have the self-conscious gene. Did I mention that packing turns me into a basket case? EVERY TIME?! Pretty soon I won’t be able to leave the house.


The only thing I know I should pack for sure is a bottle of Maker’s Mark and a bottle of Tums. And clean underwear.

Phishing with the IRS


I’m seeing some good phishing scams coming through. People have so many questions about paying taxes and dealing with the IRS that the phishing mails seem really plausible. The IRS is on top of it, but that doesn’t help if you give the phisher your social security number .

On one of my work forums people discussed the rebates for their residents for days, trying to advise each other and get the right information. [Yes, a tax lawyer finally chimed in with the answers preceded by many declarations of THIS IS NOT TAX ADVICE etc etc etc. ]

Anyway, be careful. I’m just sayin’.

How to report a phishing scam


–==++   TopFive’s News Headlines   ++==–

Hillary Recants Bosnia Sniper Fire Story; “Might’ve Been Detroit”

Raul Castro Lifts Cuban Ban on Happiness

McCain Only Getting Older Waiting for Democrats

Vegan Goes on Salad-Shooter Rampage

Rock Band Concentrating on Career, Forgetting About Chicks, Man

Credits: John Keadle (1), Jeff Rabinowitz (2), David Kass (3),
Jerry L. Embry (4), Tristan Fabriani (5)


Urban Word of the Day

April 02, 2008: manorexia


The male version of [anorexia nervosa], or any general wasting away of the body in men. This eating disorder is commonly seen in starlets but is now affecting men, where they take on the wasted appearance of starving children in third world countries.

This is more often a drug-related issue in men, than the self-esteem issue it manifests as in women.

J.Lo’s man Marc Antony has totally got manorexia. The guy looks like Skeletor.


And here’s one I forgot to post from a couple of days ago:

Urban Word of the Day

March 29, 2008: acoustic shave


the act of shaving with razor; not an electric shave

“Hey man, do you use Norelco?”

“No way, I shave acoustic!”


Back in BF Egypt

Palm Springs was sort of a bust. Usually it’s my favorite place on earth but I was too wrung out to enjoy it. Dammit! All that airport time for nothing.

Wait, not nothing: Check this out

Can you tell what that is? We went walking around the complex Sunday night in a hellacious windstorm. We heard a weird noise up in the blowing trees and a crow was high-tailing it out of a pine. Apparently he was trying to land on a moving target, and an owl was there first. It was BIG. Bigger than my biggest cat, maybe 18 inches tall. Is that possible? It was huge. I could see it a lot better than this crappity picture shows, but it was dusk and the tree was shaking like mad, so it didn’t photograph too well (my camera will not shoot fast enough for that sort of picture). I guess the locals already knew about him – mom said she’d heard stories about some big owl living in the complex. It gave me a thrill to see him. Or her. I’ve never heard it in all my time there.

In other news: Mom’s old cat does not like to go back and forth between LB and PS, even though they do it at least twice a month. Mom has scars to prove it and the cat always hides when it’s time to leave. She’s smart. When we were leaving PS this time, on a whim Mom put the cage out on the floor near where the cat was hiding under an end-table. She called the cat, and talked nicely to her, and after about a minute THAT DAMNED CAT SLUNK INTO THE CAGE UNAIDED. It was mind-boggling. I wish I could have recorded it for posterity. I’ve never seen the like.

In yet more cat news, Cheetah didn’t pee on anything of mine (that I’ve found so far) while I was gone. She might even look like she’s marginally improved. It’s hard to tell, she mostly looks awful all the time. Poor thing.

And, not about cats at all:

In-N-Out burger opened up here last week. Overdue, apparently. The drive-thru has been full, winding out the parking lot, along the side street, and spilling out onto the highway every day since the opening. They resorted to traffic cones to try and keep the queue straight and slightly less out in the middle of the road. It’s been like this every time I’ve driven by, at all times of the day. It was like this at 8:30 last night. The parking lot and the Chili’s lot next to it were also full of parked cars – and they sure weren’t in Chili’s. I know this because we couldn’t handle the crowd or the wait at In-N-Out and went into Chili’s instead. Bleah. The margarita was good. Some day I hope to eat at In-N-Out, but not until the herd thins out a little.