Wednesday, April 30, 2014

AtoZ Zombie Stinkbugs

Can you believe it's the last post of the 2014 AtoZ Challenge? I've met so many fantastic people and had a lot of fun! I hope that now you've gotten a preview of what things are like around here, you will check back and see what's going on. I'll warn you, you've gotten a peek at the best of Tongue In Cheek. I can't keep up this crazy pace all the time, but there's definitely weirdness abounding around here on a mostly regular basis. So for now I finish off our challenge with my musings from 2010 on...

Zombie Stinkbugs

So I was thinking. (One of my more dangerous pursuits.) And had a terrifying epiphany of sorts.

As I gingerly carried yet another tissue enshrouded stinkbug to its watery grave via the toilet, it hit me. This has to be the primary way most people dispose of stinkbugs. You can't squash them, or you'll be engulfed in an unholy smell that may just be a sentient being in its own right. So you capture them and flush them.


Down to the sewer.

This practice may have unwittingly created a situation rife with apocalyptic potentiality.

*cue echoing effect and scary dant dant daaaaaa music*

Yes, stinkbugs in the sewer. Not unlike alligators in the sewer.

Except stinkbugs are swarmers. My brain keeps terrifying me with images of crazed mutant zombie stinkbugs hopped up on toxic sewer gasses, rampaging across cities in devouring hordes - scarab beetle style a la The Mummy.

But I can't come up with a different disposal system. What shall we do? How can we stop adding more numbers to their growing sewer army without unleashing a scent clearly from the bowels of Hell itself?

I'm stumped. The comments are open for your suggestions.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

AtoZ Yuck, Dead Mouse Disposal or Yma Sumac

Can you believe we're down to the final two posts in this year's epic 2014 AtoZ Challenge? I've met so many awesome people along the way. I'm so glad I joined, even though I'm freaking out with how crazy busy I am at the moment. I want to thank the hosts and all the cool Ninja Minions, especially Susan Gourley, who talked me into doing the challenge this year. She's awesome!!

So today's reruns are of two kinds. The first is for the uninitiated. Those of you who haven't yet seen the crazy goings on at my blog. I give you a gentle one to ease you in. For those who are now hardened readers, the second one is for you, and I will beg you later to get the professional help you need for being hard-core followers. (Even though I appreciate you soooooo much that I want to make you pie. And I don't even bake.) So without further ado I give you two Y posts for the price of one.

Now For Something Completely Different

NPR created a program celebrating 50 Great Voices this year, and I was inspired to make a pick of my own for inclusion in the NPR celebration.

I've been kicking around doing a post on this amazing singer for a while, and this was an easy opportunity to do so. Yma Sumac was born in Peru and is said to be the only known person to have a voice with a five octave range. It is also believed that she had no formal musical training and couldn't read music.

Here is some rare footage of Yma accompanied by my favorite song of hers - Gopher Mambo.

Just for the record, I also think Freddie Mercury, Bing Crosby  and Roger Daltrey should be included on the list. Because, really, how can you pick just one?

So how about you? Who do you think should be included in 50 Greatest Voices?

**Gentle, sweet, uninitiated readers, time to skip to the comments section! The rest of you, hold on for the ride!**

The Dead Mouse Disposal Saga of a Reformed Horror Flick Junkie

Ok, so it's 5:25 in the morning, and I get out of bed because I hear the ominous clicking of toenails on tile of my incontinent dog. (Yes, I even have a post to explain that statement.) I'm in no mood for a forced game of dog crap hide and seek, so I get up and take her out. As I'm waiting for her to come back in, I check, with much inward trepidation, the four mouse traps on our counter.

Sidebar. I have to. I live in a house that was built in 1826. There were mouse runs in it before I was even born. I'm not a slovenly housekeeper. They've been getting into the house for almost 200 years. Not a whole lot I can do about it besides always putting boxed food in plastic containers and the like to discourage them.

Anywho - The Man had called for an all out war on this particular intrepid rodent. And I was behind him all the way. It was trying to make a nest in the bottom drawer of my oven. I'm out for some serious blood.

So I force myself to peek at the first two traps. They're your standard snap trap with peanut butter on them. Like the previous two days, the peanut butter is gone, the trap is still intact, and there's a mouse turd next to it.

With many a colorful explicative turn of phrase involving this mouse and all it's ancestors back to the beginning of time itself, I check the next trap in line. It's a plastic circular trap that lures the mouse in and closes when it does.

I'm a little leery of this one ever since a former uber-mouse, which must have been a direct relative of this one, chewed its way out of one of these traps after it was in the outside trash can and then began chewing through two layers of said trash can to free itself. I still have the chew holes to prove it. The Man heard the noise, opened the trash can, and out sprang this seriously hopped-up mouse. Suffice it to say, he was lucky to get away with his life.

I check the dubious circle trap. It's still set. So I turn my wary gaze over to the new trap.

Now, we knew we weren't dealing with your everyday run of the mill vermin. I was at my wits end and starting to look a little like Bill Murray in Caddy Shack during his quest for the gopher.


I found myself dreaming of plastic explosives in the shapes of mice and rabbits just to destroy this thing. In that vein of thinking, The Man and I went in search of a better mouse trap. And found one. It's a little plastic cave like thing with a deadly trap inside.

This trap, The Man set up on that little space of counter top behind the sink fixtures where it's extremely difficult to retrieve. And then promptly left for the weekend to go to the American Lemanz race in Connecticut with his brothers.

So here I am in a summer pajama top and undies, no corrective lenses in place, squinting at a long straight tail and fat hindquarters splayed out from the opening of the cave trap.

My first reaction is the freaky ick jump-back combined with the gross-out circular dance. Which--admittedly--ended in a small victory dance. But then my sleepy brain realizes, I'm the only adult in the house until Sunday; where I then turn my powers of colorful invectives on The Man since clearly the disposal of all formerly living things falls squarely into man-land territory.

Now, I've seen Re-Animator and Pet Sematary.

Back in the day I was a full on horror-flick-watching-Stephen-King-reading junkie. The macabre was my drug of choice. Now? Not so much. But because of my former horror addiction, I have an extensive mental file of every way in which I can be gruesomely killed by another. Including death by deranged animals -okay, cats- coming back to life to terrorize you.

If cats, then why not mice?

I look again at the long stringy tail and start making some noise just to check if it's still alive. Nothing. No twitching, no busting out of the cave like the Hulk. I make some more noise, just to triple check-I am dealing with the spawn of uber-mouse, here. Nothing. So I search the immediate vicinity and begin gathering my implements of destruction.

Picture if you will a grown woman in a pajama top and underwear, her husband's flip-flops, gigantic leather gloves and iron tongs from the wood stove, and a flimsy plastic grocery bag. Still without glasses on. (If I could have scrounged up a welder's mask I would have.)

I stand poised, holding the heavy tongs in my gloved hands. The gloves are ten sizes too big and unwieldy as all get out. The tongs are clearly not the right disposal tool, but there's no way in hell I'm getting close to this thing. After several botched attempts consisting of a lot of grossed out squealing and tiptoe icky-dancing, I finally maneuver the trap and dead mouse into the bag.

Quickly tying the top, and trying hard not to think about how flimsy it is, I run out to the trash can, open it up, drop the bag-o-possibly-mostly-dead-uber-mouse in and slam it shut. Where I realize that THERE IS STILL AN ESCAPE ROUTE HOLE CHEWED IN THE LID!!!. *shudder*

So now I have until trash night on Thursday to wonder if it's going to come back to life, re-infiltrate the house and murder me in my bed.

It's going to be a long friggin' week.

Monday, April 28, 2014

AtoZ X-Rated List

Hello once again AtoZers! How are your posts coming? I've been doing my darned tootinest to get out and about to lots of new peeps and still answer comments here. Which I truly appreciate, by the way. Here at Tongue In Cheek, I'm polluting indoctrinating the public with all the craziness which is Ava.  I hope you've had your shots, because here's a whacked out list from early on in my blogging career. All the way back to 2008.

Just Couldn't Be Serious Today

Okay, so I was going to try to be serious and write about censorship, the dangers of spouting off opinions on blog comments, and the horrors of banning books. But I just can't seem to go there today. Too serious. Instead I'll give you a little glimpse into my deranged psyche.

I have a mental list, just for kicks, (that will now be preserved for posterity on this blog) of people whom I could never imagine ever having sex. Not that I could never imagine having sex with them (which I couldn't, because - ew). Just never imagine them ever doing the deed, period.

In no particular order, here they are:

Burl Ives
Phyllis Diller
Fred Rogers
The Queen of England
Richard Simmons
Edward James Olmos
Adam West
William Shatner
Leonard Nimoy
Jaleel White
Pat Morita
Mel Brooks
Michael Dukakis
Sam Kinison
Barbara Bush

There are others, but now that I have you thinking about it, who'd be on your list?

Saturday, April 26, 2014

AtoZ Witnesses of the Jehovah Kind

Hi again all my new AtoZ friends! I'm Ava and I'm bringing you up to speed with some of my menagerie of mayhem around here at Tongue In Cheek by giving you a bunch of crazy reruns.  Back in 2009 I acquired a zealot who made house calls and who wouldn't take no for an answer. She persisted to try and save me three times. Below you will find the transcripts of each altercation. Enjoy!


So I'm at home on this rainy Tuesday, feeling sick. (Big frickin' surprise, I've been sick since the beginning of March.) And there's a tentative knock on my only-used-by-strangers front door that is semi blocked by crap and only opens half-way. The dogs go ballistic, and I get ready for the inevitable.

Yes. It's the Jehovah's Witnesses.

Now, I'm usually a polite person. They're following their doctrine, and I can respect that. But when the person you're trying to convert is hacking all over you and not inviting you in and trying politely to let you know that they're not interested and holding back the hounds of hell so they don't tear your throat out and is not feeling well, STFU and leave them be!

Now, not only do they not shut up, and I can't shut the door because then one of my dogs would get cut in half, but they wrap up their spiel trying to elicit a promise from me that I'll read over their pamphlet and talk to them about it when I'm done.


Don't come to my house and assign me frickin' homework! WTH?! Do you think you're going to administer a pop quiz when you get back? The woman actually said, "I want you to promise me that you'll read over this literature so when we come back we can discuss it."

Lady, are you fucking nuts? If you do come back, I don't care about the busy road in front of my house, I'm releasing the hounds. Do you really think I want to discuss anything with a person so driven by doctrine that you have no common sense or courtesy for the sick? Do you really think I want to choose my faith from a door to door salesman? Do you really believe that because I'm a polite person and didn't back you off my property with a gun in your face that I'm going to invite you in for a coffee clatch about your propoganda rag?

Suffice it to say, nice ended and snarky stepped up. I replied, "If you do come back, you'd better bring some different wares to sell because I ain't buying what you're shilling now." And shut the door.

Yeah, I'm going to Hell, but I knew that way before they hit my front porch.

Hello, Satan

"Hello, Satan? Yes, I'd like to book a table."

"At the moment, for one, but you may want to keep a few chairs handy, I think I might be joined by some friends."

"Yeah. Ok. I'd like it to be in the non-smoking section, please."

"Oh. There isn't a non-smoking section. All right. Hmmm. Could it be in a quiet, corner? Maybe something a little intimate and cozy?"

"Yes, as far away from the screaming and fiery pits as possible would be nice. Thanks."

"Okay. See you then!"

Yes the Jehovah's Witnesses were back. Don't worry. I dispatched them quickly. No, not under the loose boards of my porch.

The sad thing is, I don't think I've seen the last of her. I'm getting the feeling she's attached herself like a pit bull to my ass. Like I'm some pet project. I'll fix her. Even if I have to turn the hose on her.

Damn, I wish I had those flying monkeys.

Can You Believe It?!?

The Jehovah's Witnesses came back! AGAIN! They were just here. I, in polite but no uncertain terms, told them not to darken my door ever again.

The woman had the audacity to tell me that I asked her to come back! Now, what person in their right mind would ask the JW's to come back? Seriously? Who? Especially at nine o'clock in the morning! If you've been following the saga,(here and here) you know I definitely did not.

So now some delusional zealot is out there unleashed on the unsuspecting populace, knocking on doors in her sensible shoes, and pestering others.

Hmmm. I'm okay with that, I've taken my share of abuse. It's time to spread it around a little. In fact, I gave her Vicki and Natalie's addresses, and told her they would love to sit and chat with her.

Well, gotta go. I'm too busy laughing evilly and rubbing my hands together to type any more. Have a good weekend!

Friday, April 25, 2014

AtoZ Villanous Minions Needed

 Hey there all you AtoZ participants! Thanks for stopping in. As you read, I'm most likely in the woods with 180 kids, making sure they get a huge dose of outdoor environmental science. And also probably a little insane. Here's hoping I bounce back!

Anywho! My theme this year is a sampling of the zaniness that has gone on around here in the years Tongue In Cheek has evolved. My only regret is that there are only 26 days in which to post six years of crazy nonsense that has occurred. Definitely not enough time to expose you to the true level of my insanity. Which is actually probably a good thing. So, on with the freakshow! Here's a glimpse of my sanity levels from 2010. Enjoy this...

Thursday Ridiculousness

Super Villain Update - Well, I'm scouting some new minion talent since negotiations with the sea monkeys are stalled. Right now I'm courting bandito lobsters, which as you know are the badasses of the crustacean world. I'm sure you've seen their work. But just in case you haven't, here's a little sample.

They really reek of harbingers of doom, huh? Huh? Definitely capable of delivering my wrath. So I'm considering them. If I contact them, I'll do some trial runs, see how we work together. You know, run of the mill stuff.

I'm also thinking about hiring this group to write my theme song once I decide on who will become the deliverers of my wrath. What do you think?

Thursday, April 24, 2014

AtoZ Never (U)nderestimate the Power of "The Man"

***E.T.A. The first environmental field day is tomorrow. 180 kids 25 parent volunteers, all outdoor and thunder storms in the forecast. I'm scrambling to come up with a possible alternate venue and how to reach volunteers at the last minute if necessary. I'll be checking in on all you awesome people in two days and will be catching up on your awesome posts. Wish me luck!****

Hi again all you hep cats participating in the AtoZ Challenge! I've been doing my level best to get around to as many blogs in the challenge as possible. There are so many awesome bloggers in this hop! I've been enjoying myself immensely! Which is something I try to do on a regular basis. Even if I must make up new ways in which to do it. And drag "The Man" -aka my husband- into my little neurotic playdates with me. Things are more fun when they're shared, amiright? Including such crazy made up games as...

Stinkbug Chicken (from 2011)

A few days ago, a stinkbug made an appearance in my bedroom, crawled to a high spot out of my immediate reach, and has apparently decided it's now residing there for the winter.

I've been keeping my eye on it, and can satisfactorily report it hasn't moved for days. So I've left it alone because there have been too many other things on fire around here to deal with. Things more important than a stinkbug setting up house on my bedroom wall. Yeah, we've had some major shit.

Anyway, I happened to mention the stinkbug to The Man.

me: "Have you noticed the stinkbug in our room?"

The Man: "Yeah."

me: "Are you going to kill it?"

The Man: "Are you?"

me: hmmmm

And that's when the game of Stinkbug Chicken (c) began. Though I'm not sure that The Man actually knows he's a participant in my new form of entertainment. But I believe he is beginning to suspect.

So here's how I'm playing. I make a comment about the bug to see if The Man will be the one to break down and dispose of it first. Only, I can't actually ask him to do it. I can only bring his attention to the bug in new and  interesting ways. For example.

me: "You know, I think I'll name the stinkbug in our room, Ralph."

The Man: bushy glance from the corner of his eye: "Is that so."

me: "Yeah. It seems he'll be staying awhile and if he's going to see me changing my clothes, I figured he should have a name."

The Man: "How do you know it's a he?"

me: "Because it stares at me so intently when I get naked."

The Man: "That seems logical."

Oh, he's good.

So it's a stalemate right now, but I haven't cracked yet. As long as Ralph stays put, that is. He's perched on my side of the room, so if he goes mobile, I'll be the first to be infiltrated.

Though, truthfully, if that thing starts flying?

Game over.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

AtoZ Transgressions Against Hello Kitty

Welcome AtoZ hoppers! So glad you chose to drop in at Tongue In Cheek today. We've almost completed our re-run tour of Tongue In Cheek. The letter T today stands for Transgressions. Now, I'm not really a Hello Kitty fan, but this goes a bit far. Which, if you've spent any time at all around here, you know is right up my alley. Please enjoy this 2009 post.

Hello Kitty Doms

What is wrong with this picture? (Well, there's lots of things, but I'm going for the really whacked out portion.)

Take another look. Are you seeing this or have I fallen and hit my head?

Why is a man posing like this, and how did he get those pants on?

OMG! There's two!!!

Holy crap! Three??

I'm not even sure where to begin here. Hello Kitty Doms? These guys fall into the muzac category. Were these men really that hard up for work? What was the thought process that went through the minds of each of these guys when they took on this job? Was it a twelve step sort of thing where it finally ended in sad acceptance?

You know when they were getting dressed for this gig, there was no eye contact between these men at all in the back dressing room. Yet they are now bound by something like a fraternal order, with silence being the key.

So let's hear it. Lay it on me. What do you think? Even if it's just open-mouthed shock.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

AtoZ Super Villain Plans

Hi there, AtoZ Challengers and any other happy campers who've happened upon Tongue In Cheek. Today we take a stroll down TiC memory lane with two posts written in 2010 when I decided to broaden my horizons and wrath delivery options by becoming a super villain.

My Evil Plans Are Coming Together

So I haven't been around in the internets for a while. I've been up to no good, of course. Most recently I've been studying up over at ISS (International Society of Supervillains). I've been busy taking the evil ranking quiz, checking out the faq, designing and discarding different costuming ideas. You know, the usual.

You may ask what brought on such drastic and evil preparations, but there's no one concrete event. I'm just getting ready for the distribution of my wrath when I reach the very edge and am thrust over into the boiling chasm of evil. It's always good policy to be prepared.

I'm attempting to convert the sea monkeys to my will. Many, I know, would mock the seemingly wuss-like reputation of the sea monkeys. Only I understand the full range of their power. Only I understand their determination. Only I understand their need to spread their slimy society like a virus until it covers the Earth! Soon I will be their mistress, and they will deliver my wrath! Bwa haa haa haaaaacoughcoughcough!

Uh. whoops. Heh, heh. Did I blog that out loud? Never mind. Condition normal. All is well. Back to the grind!

Super Villain Update

 So the Super Villain plans are on the back burner right now. My negotiations with the sea monkeys are bogged down in lawyer speak. The sea monkeys, which hitherto will be referred to as the first party, have resisted my attempts at a hostile take over and flat out refuse to become my minions. Sigh. I was so sure I could bend them to my will.

Also, the costuming is becoming a problem as I field test. Each material has its own unique set of advantages and disadvantages. Leather, which had been my first pick, really doesn't breathe well. And it constricts movement. So my kung-fu actions would be hindered. Though it does afford a certain amount of protection, especially if I decide that a motorcycle will be my main form of transportation. Spandex, on the other hand, allows for free range of motion, yet no protection whatsoever. Plus, I just don't have the body for it any more. I mean, I want to be taken seriously as a major player in the realm of Super Villains, right?

Also, in my sea monkey negotiations, they want a nod. One of their demands is that I must wear a sea monkey crest or logo of some sort. And while I have a long history of battling sea monkeys and am aware of their wily and nefarious nature, their PR people are just too darn good. For years they've been cleaning up their image. I mean, you tell me, how is this supposed to strike fear into the hearts of an unsuspecting populace?

So I'm stalled. I'm sure everything will turn out all right in the end and my minions will come online. And the costuming issues will fall into place. Until then, I guess I'll just have to be patient.

But, faithful legions, I would appreciate your input on an impromptu poll regarding my costuming and transportation issues. Please select your favorite from each category. Post your selections to the comments. All opinions welcome. Thanks, and have a slimy sea monkey day!

amphibious landing craft
armored personnel carrier
Vespa and water wings

Costume material
sea weed
breathable 100% cotton

Sea monkey logo
just the head with crown
crossed tridents with sea monkey hand, head, pet sea horse and castle in the four spaces to form a shield crest
Stylized SMW which stands for Sea Monkey Woman

Monday, April 21, 2014

AtoZ The 3 R's Writing, Rummaging and Ridiculousness

Helooooooo Atozers! So glad you've stopped by! I'm trying to keep up with answering comments and visiting anyone who stops in (as well as venturing out to others), but please know that this is an extremely hectic time of year for me, which is why I decided to participate for the first time by utilizing reruns. So If I don't get to you now, be assured I will get to you later to share the love and the good karma!

Today we have the three R's of Tongue In Cheek...

Writing Rummaging and Ridiculousness

So, okay, those are the 3 Rs here at Tongue In Cheek. They may not necessarily be your three.

Anywho, here we go.

Yeah, pretty much nonexistent right now. The oldest Urchin has started up again with what brought her down last fall. And of course, every crazy test the doctors could think of was done to her. So they're at a loss as to what else to try. They just say inane things like, "Stay the course" and "A thousand points of light" and get me so irritated that I switch around everything in their exam room while we're left alone waiting. Yeah, that's right, search for those tongue depressors. Search for them!

Ahem. Sorry.

I've also been sick for the past week, so my drive is not what it should be. Getting out of bed takes so much effort that opening and editing a wip is more than I can stand right now.

But, I'm leaving on Friday morning for the New Jersey Romance Writer's conference. If I ever look up the directions on how to get there, that is. I attended two years ago, and found it worthwhile. Even though the fire alarm went off in the middle of the night at the hotel. So hopefully going to the conference will get some of my writing mojo to return.

I am a rummage sale junkie. I love a good rummage sale like stink bugs love my underwear drawer.

Whilst arriving early to a particularly good one late in the summer, I eyed the crowd. They were a feisty looking bunch. Frazzled moms with fidgety children, little blue-haired old ladies with huge shopping bags made of recycled plastic (you know, the ones with the sharp, pointy corners), unkempt, overweight, sweat pant wearing men with stringy comb overs.

Yes they were a well seasoned, yet motley crew of hard core rummage maniacs. This is the kind of crowd where the little old ladies will run you over with their wire baskets-on-wheels as soon as look at you. The unkempt men will use every available body odor in their human stink arsenal to clear a section they want. And the mommies will sic their little mucus encrusted darlings on your ass before you can say viscous liquids.

Hard. Core.

All they needed were some eye patches, peg legs and a touch of scurvy, and they'd be the masters of the Seven Seas.

So as I walked down the sidewalk, eyeing the line of competition, and receiving the hairy eyeball in return, I busted out my best professional wrestling announcer voice and yelled, "Let's get ready to RUUUUUMMMAAAAAAAGGE!!!!"

Everyone gave me a lot of room after that, leaving me to browse sections at my leisure. (I owe all my psychological warfare tactics to the sea monkeys.)

No, that last section wasn't the ridiculousness. Sheesh. This will be some random ridiculousness.

I found a dead, dried out, cracking apart stink bug.
In my underwear drawer. EEEEEEEEWWWWW! All right, that was more like the "What's Grosser Than Gross" jokes that permeated the early eighties. (You all remember those, right? What's grosser than gross? Finding out your brother's scab collection is missing after eating a bowl of Cornflakes.)

My Reign as the county 'Possum Queen is soon coming to an end, and I'll need to attend the Moonshine and Fried Possum Carnival in the first weekend of November to hand over my crown of taxidermied 'possums with rhinestone accents to the next queen. Ahh, the memories I'll be taking with me after this year of excitement. If you haven't accompanied me on the journey and missed it, check out the 'Possum Queen category to the right and catch up on all the 'possumy goodness this year has wrought.

So I'm off to get my annual haircut today for the writer's conference. My hair is ridiculously long. It reaches my waist. Time to get a few inches off.

So tell me. How are your writing, rummaging and ridiculousness going?

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter, Peeps!

Happy Easter, everyone! I hope the Easter bunny was good to you! Here's a fun video featuring that awesome Pennsylvania made treat, Peeps!


Saturday, April 19, 2014

AtoZ 'Possum Queen Pimpin'

Q for Queen here for AtoZ today. Glad you stopped in on this awesome blog hop. Here at Tongue In Cheek I'm taking a walk down memory lane by revisiting some of the crazier adventures that have happen over here. We're currently ensconced in my reign as the county 'Possum Queen. So enjoy these two posts detailing the goings ons in my trailerhood.

Derelict 'Possum Queen

I've been very derelict in my 'Possum Queen duties as of late. So I figured I'd give you a special behind the scenes glimpse of the pageant.

There were many qualified contestants. Vera, for instance. She was some tough competition.

Here was one of our distinguished judges.

The talent competition was fierce. Between the hog calling and tying, the bologna frying and the goat yodeling, it definitely wasn't a cake walk. In the end, Berthalynn and her toilet seat/horseshoe throwing skills took it. Don't be confused by the mustache, folks. She's a sweet gal and a helluva kisser.

I was honored to receive the coveted crown from last year's 'Possum Queen, Pattikins Parker.

My lawn bowling experience and familiarity with pink flamingos pushed me over the top, though. As stated before, it didn't hurt that I had all my own teeth. It was a bit of a struggle to get the crown to stay on along with my pointy hat, but I think the over all effect was rather enticing.

Since I'm supposed to talk more about the merits of 'possum meat, I'll save the pictures of the bathing suit competition for a later date.

With Groundhog Day here and taking all the glory right now, the Eatin' 'Possum Council would like me, their current County 'Possum Queen, to say a few words about the varied possum-bilites of the edible possum - "The Third White Meat, Sorta".

There's broiled 'possum and grilled 'possum and don't forget canned creamed 'possum on toast, affectionately referred to as CRaP on a shingle. There's also fried bologna and possum casserole - heavy on the mayo- with potato chip crust.

So in your Super Bowl and Ground Hog Day festivities, don't forget to have some 'possum lying round the table for the party! I'm sure your guests will thank you.

Diversified 'Possum Uses

As the county's reigning 'Possum Queen for the Pot Bellied Processed 'Possum Products Company (tm), it was pointed out to me in the fine print of my contract that I should be endorsing, not only the company's fine product line of canned 'possum delights, but doing my "darned-tootinest" to further the best image of 'possum and 'possum related products.

So to that end, I offer my 'possummy endorsement of the following 'possum products and organization.

First and foremost, there's The Opossum Society of the United States. Though they focus more on keeping opossums alive instead of ingesting them.

You can also show your support by wearing your opossum on your sleeve, or wherever else you may want to.

Girls, let the world (or at least your trailer park) know of your 'possum pride. Announce your love of all things 'possum across your chest.

Guys, let the neighbors know just what you're grilling on the back porch.

Don't forget the special sauce!

For that touch of class, gents, you can always import your possum for that distinguished look to let your redneck town know you're a cut above the rest.

And ladies, for the ever discerning gal who endeavors to be her trailer park's trend setter, may I suggest 'possum nipple warmers? You'll be the envy of your trailerhood.

I know not much can follow that major statement of female 'possum fashion, but not to be outdone, men, you can even get a 'Possum Fur Willie Warmer. Apparently in several different sizes and colors.

So there you have it, folks. Your very own picture pile of 'possummy products. Let me know which are your favorites! I just can't decide.

Friday, April 18, 2014

AtoZ 'Possum Queen Swimsuit Competition

Welcome to Tongue In Cheek all you AtoZers! There are so many awesome blogs to go and visit on this hop. It's amazing all the things people are coming up with to blog about this year.

Over here at Tongue In Cheek, you're getting, "Ava's Backstory, Six Years of the Greatest Reruns this Blog Has to Offer." And boy are you getting an eyeful today. Yesterday, for the the letter O, I reran the announcement and recap of the day I became my county's 'Possum Queen. Today for the letter P you're getting...

The 'Possum Queen Swimsuit Competition

Yes, gentle readers, it's here.

The 2010 'Possum Queen Swimsuit Competition. Now, if you're about to eat, please be sure to choose 'Possum the other white meat, sorta- and stop back a little later. I wouldn't want to be responsible for any stomach illnesses due to the viewing of the following pictures.

With that thinly veiled warning in mind - let's get started!

Bib overalls were a popular choice that day, but SaraLee really pulled them off with her mullet combo.

As always in our scrappy little county, we had some do-it-yourselfers. With a bit of duct tape and a whole lotta ingenuity, there were some stunning pieces. But none so stunning as this bathing suit creation. BerthaLynn really went all out, didn't she?

Some of the judges/carny ride operators seemed pleased with the results too.

Darlene almost walked away with it with her Baywatch tribute.

So I knew I needed to bump up my game. I gathered my courage and decided I'd go . . . Topless. It was a little risque, but I thought it was tastefully done, don't you?

It seemed to please the judges...

Robert Sullivan  /  AFP - Getty Images file
because I was crowned later that day.

Not only were bathing suits abounding that day, but love was in the air. A sweet couple met the first evening of the County Moonshine and Fried 'Possum Carnival at the swimming hole.

By the final day of the three day festivities, after much careful consideration, they decided to take the plunge right there where they first met.

And in the end, a good -yet messy- time was had by all.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

AtoZ- (O)Possum Queen

Helloooooo AtoZers! I'm so glad I signed up for the AtoZ challenge, brain child of Arlee Bird. I hope you've been enjoying all the cool cats that have joined in on the fun. There's a list to the right in my sidebar of all the participants. Just click on the badge to check them out.

I'm deep in the middle of all my environmental field day planning and manufacturing. (315 elementary kids, 43 parent volunteers, 14 science stations, 2 days, 1 outdoor state park. And a committee of ONE. That would be me. I'm tearing my hair out at the moment.) So please forgive me for not visiting and responding right now. I will be getting back to all of you and following you all if I can (I don't have a wordpress or facebook page, so those are tougher for me to figure out how to follow, but I'll be over to comment in the near future.) I'm sooo thankful for the comments from you guys. I swear that's the only thing keeping me going at the moment. at Tongue In Cheek, my AtoZ theme is past zaniness from the years I've been blogging. So today we have a post from 2010. In that year, I began my reign as the county's 'Possum Queen. Here are my first statements as Trailer Trash Royalty.

As The New Reigning 'Possum Queen . . .

I would like to make my first official comments to the world. First of all, I'd like to thank the community who attended the Moonshine and Fried Possum Carnival for all your heartfelt, yet odoriferous votes. As I stood on the Pot Bellied 'Possum stage with the other contestants, waiting for last year's queen to place her hand above my head so you all could belch your approval, tears gathered in the corners of my eyes. To be the recipient of the loudest belches from the crowd and thereby earning the crown was an experience I will never forget.

Then, to have the Pot Bellied Pooh Bah in his possum fur covered fez lead you all in the 'Possum Salute as I took my first walk wearing the Possum crown across the dais, well, there just aren't words. The silent mock death salute with raised hands curled, eyes rolled back and tongues hanging in the breeze- it's just too much to take.

And the crown! The taxidermist that created it with the mama possum saluting at the front and all her babies doing the salute perched on her back as they peek around her? It's just breath taking. And I've never seen rhinestones used in such a unique way before. I'll wear it to all my Pot Bellied 'Possum functions knowing that every 'Possum Queen before me wore it with pride.

Now for the naysayers out there. You know who you are (Berthalynn and Elmeretta). I did not win because I was the only contestant with all her teeth. I'll have you know that I also shave my armpits and have mastered the mysteries of the bathtub. So back off!

As for my duties as this year's reigning 'Possum Queen. I swore the oath to do my darned tootin-est to represent the entire line of canned Pot Bellied Processed 'Possum Products to the best of my ability. From Creamed 'Possum to 'Possum Roadkill Stew. From hash to grits and all affiliated gravies and desserts in between. I will do it with possum pride in my heart. Thank you for voting me your new 'Possum Queen. I salute you!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

AtoZ- Nonsense

Hi there AtoZ crowd! I have over 130 posts labeled Nonsense over in the sidebar, and it was really hard to pick just one. So I decided to pick one that was full of joyous and beautiful nonsense, instead of the cray-cray that usually abounds in that category here at Tongue in Cheek. Today's rerun comes from 2012. Here we have ...

Vigilante Knitters

So the new thing with those crazy youngsters today is Yarnbombing. Remember that post I did, lo those many years ago about the people knitting sweaters for trees? Well it's grown into some insane proportions.

picture from The Telegraph
And I have to say, that my earlier skepticism of this activity has evaporated and heartfelt admiration has taken its place. It was the pompom hanging from the end of the tank's gun barrel that won me over.

pic from seaviewweavers

 I wonder if I can get them to knit me some bourbon cozies.

TimePhotos has a nice sampling of some knitting graffiti. I particularly liked the legwarmers on the immense statue in France.

So what form of harmless craziness would you inflict on the world if you could? Obviously mine is this blog. What would yours be?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

AtoZ Merits of the Mullet & Magnificent Mutton Chops

Howdy AtoZ Participants and welcome to my (red)neck of the trailerhood! The Best Of Tongue In Cheek is the theme for me this year. I hope you've been following along with all the mayhem and madness. Today I couldn't choose which M post to share, so for your consideration I give you The Merits of the Mullet and Mutton Chops- a closer study of the sideburn.  Enjoy and y'all come back now, ya hear?

The Merits of the Mullet

So, yeah. Things are pretty much chaos at Casa de Quinn (or chez Quinn for all my legions of loyal but silent French Canadian lurkers). Nothing life threatening, just taking a major beat down by some masked freak in spandex, jumping off the top rope wielding a metal folding chair. You know, normal chaos.

So it's got me to thinking, which with me, you never know where the heck this will go. Usually nowhere good. And here are the fruits of my ruminations - The Merits of the Mullet.

I have now determined that there are some nice benefits to be reaped by sporting a mullet. You don't even have to really get it done. They sell mullet wigs now. All you'd have to do is show up in public with one of these bad boys nailed to your noggin.

Righteous, huh?

So here, in no particular order are the merits and virtues of the mullet as I see them.

1. No one expects anything from you.
2. You can get away with any degree of laziness.
3. You are not expected to be a productive member of society.
4. Any number of carny jobs are yours for the taking. (and really, do I need to enumerate the endless amounts of perks that go along with carny work? I didn't think so.)
5. You can wear the same clothes for days and no one will look twice at you.
6. "All business up front. Party in the back."

7. You can write nothing for over a month and no one notices.
8. No one believes that a mullet wearer can actually write at all.
9. It's completely assumed that your greatest accomplishment is clearing the lint from your navel.
10. Mullet equals magnificence.

You didn't think I could come up with ten, did you? Yeah, I know. Some of those merits seem almost the same, but hey, what did you expect? I have a mullet. (You just can't see it under the pointy hat.)

And Now...
Mutton Chops- A Closer Look At The Sideburn

Today we take a closer look at a very popular expression of male facial hair as we delve into the mutton chop. This in depth analysis of one of the many different categories of male facial hair builds on my previous homage to the art of the sideburn.

Mutton chops are long, sometimes bushy, sideburns that reach either the jawline or connect to a mustache. They can be trimmed and stylized in any number of ways. As such.

pic from
It has been my experience that if a man has mutton chops, there are only four occupations he is able to hold.

1. Elvis impersonator.

Elvis did right by the mutton chop in the seventies.

 And the impersonators know it. Have a look.

pic from

2. Lumberjack
I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay . . . with my mutton chops.

3. Motorcycle gang member
But let it be known that a mutton chop wearing member cannot rise in the hierarchy above the level of "thug". Leaders must make special facial hair concessions and have either a ZZ Top beard or a Fu Manchu mustache.

4. Horror film hillbilly extra #6

 One through five being taken by other men with bushy beards or very scraggly mustaches.

So that's it on the mutton chop except to declare them magnificent. (Just like the mullet) And to prove my point, I leave you with this.

Nothing but mutton chops, baby!

Which career path would you choose if mutton chops adorned your mug?

Monday, April 14, 2014

AtoZ A Lid For Every Pot

Hi there all you awesome AtoZers and all others who've stumbled across my little infinitesimal corner of the blogosphere. I'm glad you're here today. Yesterday was insane. Youngest Urchin started puking at bedtime and was up most of the night. Earlier in the day yesterday the toilet tank broke and a huge chunk cracked off, flooding the bathroom. We had to tear out the flooring to the studs. Now there's other bigger plumbing and flooring issues besides taking out a toilet and replacing it. And this means we're down to one bathroom in the whole house. UGH!!

Anyway...this little gem tells about my encounter with a carny worker from the fireman's fair that comes to town every year and parks itself for four glorious days just past our back fence. The Urchins hang on said fence like rabid squirrels, salivating over all the rides as they're assembled during the week before opening day. I hope you enjoy this glimpse of my 2010 romantic side as I relay my belief that there's...

A Lid For Every Pot

I have a theory, that receives some rather substantial proof every August when the fireman's fair erupts just beyond my back fence. This theory may seem hopelessly optimistic, but I believe wholeheartedly that there is a lid for every pot.

As the smells of funnel cake and pizza, french fries and horse manure fill the air, a sweltering mix of humanity flocks to the rides and food. A wondrous mixture of lids and pots.

Some pots have found their lids and display their tandem-ness with pride. The elderly couple who shuffle along, carrying their aluminum lawn chairs to reserve their spot on the grass for the gospel singers who perform the first night. The vinyl webbing for the chairs has been removed, and in their place are matching woven yarn patterns. His and hers. They sit together and chat with everyone around them. He cheekily pats her knee with a gnarled hand which earns him a girlish smile that rearranges her wrinkles and a playful smack on his arm.

You look around and there's the middle-aged couple advertising their fit by strolling arm in arm as they wear matching outfits. Dressed alike, you can't miss that he's her lid.

Then there's the odd couple. A gigantic man with natural orange hair, pencil drawn eyebrows, tattooed eye liner, and a lavender shirt covering his substantial bulk loudly expounds on the golden era of Hollywood. A thin young man, in black from the tips of his spiked hair to the tips of his combat boots hangs on his every word as tightly as he hangs onto his arm.

Lids and pots. Everywhere you look. Some matched up; others on the hunt. Flocks of teenage girls giggle and scream, sounding the availability call to the gaggles of teenage boys, who laugh and shove and bullshit their way around the midway. The flashing neon lights of the rides and games draw them just like clouds of moths, looking to try on a lid for the night to see if it fits.

As I wait in line for the umpteenth time to put my youngest urchin on her favorite ride, the operator strikes up a conversation that doesn't require much on my part.

"How old is she?"


"Oh, that's almost as old as my twins. They're four." He bares his twisted teeth at me in a friendly sort of way. "I got a seven year old and another'n on the way."

He nods his head across the midway to a surly looking young woman with a severe ponytail; pregnant out to here. She glares at me as she slumps in her decrepit metal folding chair, and I smile the smile of someone caught staring, before she returns to taking the tickets for her ride.

"They gave her a chair so's she c'n sit down."

I nod, and he flashes those teeth again, as I try to decide if he's seventeen or thirty. All I can discern for sure is he looks like life has already ridden him hard and put him up wet.

"Yup," he continues undaunted as he takes in the midway with awe, "They gave us both jobs, 'n they've been good to work for. Just look at that chair they gave her." His chest swells with pride as he gazes over at her again.

And I can almost hear the metallic clunk of a lid falling into place.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

AtoZ Karaoke In The Pokey

Hi AtoZ fanatics! Glad to have you here. My theme for this year is The Best of Tongue In Cheek, which translated means-reruns! Yes, all the crazy goodness of the past, served up fresh and new, just for you. Today's offering from 2010 is...

Karaoke in the Pokey

Yes. You heard me. Prison Karaoke. If you don't remember, my best friend works at a prison. She always has great stories, and I've been saving this one.

On holidays, since many of the prison workers are off, the ones who work those days set up special events since there's not enough staff to run the regular activities such as basketball, the weight room, etc. So this year they decided to have an American Idol sort of competition with karaoke.

One of the semifinalists of the first round sang James Brown's Baby I Got That Feeling. Here's James Brown himself performing part of it.

The inmate who performed it apparently did every James Brown patented move along with a few others thrown in to boot and almost needed to be carried from the stage from exhaustion. He couldn't sing very well, but the showmanship alone carried him on to the finals.

In the finals, he belted out Michael Jackson's Dirty Diana.

According to my source, he only knew the chorus and sang that at the top of his lungs. Again, showmanship carried the day over actual singing talent as he performed every Michael Jackson move known to man.

He beat out the only other competition, who, by the way, could actually sing, but was so nervous he sang very quietly and twirled his hair as he did. Not really a move to get you the votes during Karaoke in the Pokey, or so I have come to understand. Though it probably got him a boyfriend or three.

James Brown/Michael Jackson in an orange jumpsuit won twenty five bucks and some notoriety around the prison. Not sure if that last part was a good thing or will turn around to bite him in the ass. Pretty literally.

But this is what I'm trying to convince my best friend to organize next. I think it would be great for morale and more importantly, excellent fodder for my blog.

Until next time, Citizens!

Friday, April 11, 2014

AtoZ James Brown Translated For Minors

 Hello AtoZ hoppers! Glad you stopped in to Tongue In Cheek where everything is true, except for the stuff that isn't. Today's rerun comes from 2010 and contains sage parenting advice. I hope you enjoy...

James Brown Translated For Minors

As we drove home listening to Funky Friday on WXPN Philadelphia, James Brown came on. And the following conversation ensued.

Oldest Urchin (6 y.o.) - Mommy, what's a sex machine?
Me - That's not what he's singing, honey. He's saying fax machine.
O.U. - *long pause*
Me - *sweating profusely and averting all eye contact in the darkened interior of the front seat*
O.U. - Oh. Ok.
My profuse relief was interrupted as The Man leaned over and sniffed the air around me.
T.M. - I think I smell burning pants.
Me - *through clenched teeth* Lying is a perfectly acceptable tool in the parental arsenal when emergencies, such as the one that was just averted, arise.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

AtoZ Interests and Hobbies-Motorcycles and Roller Derby

Hello again all you cool cats! So glad you stopped by on the AtoZ Challenge. Today's letter "I" stands for interests, of which I have many. Taxidermied squirrels, vigilante knitting, and roadkill art to name a few. But today I'll be reposting a homage to roller derby and my motorcycle from 2012. Enjoy!
Feel the Roller Derby Love
Have I mentioned that my new love is the roller derby? I almost went stag to the bout on Sunday. But the fabulous Misty Simon not only went with me, but spotted me ten bucks so I could purchase a new roller derby tee shirt!

Ava Quinn contemporary western romance, cowboy romance, contemporary western romance novels, funny blog, contemporary western romance author,
I owe Misty more than $10. I owe her eternal fealty for making sure I got THIS!!!!
Ava Quinn contemporary western romance, cowboy romance, contemporary western romance novels, funny blog, contemporary western romance author,
My new pretty.
Misty is now a hard core roller derby fan, just like myself. My plan is working. I'm adding to my roller derby fan girl crew one recruit at a time. No one knows who will be next!

Ava Quinn contemporary western romance, cowboy romance, contemporary western romance novels, funny blog, contemporary western romance author,
The first pretty that the B.F.F. got for my birthday. It's my precioussss!!!

So I am now the proud owner of two very cool derby shirts, which just happen to match my motorcycle perfectly.

Ava Quinn contemporary western romance, cowboy romance, contemporary western romance novels, funny blog, contemporary western romance author,
Vroom Vroom!!
Deep down, motorcycle owners know its all about the accessorizing.  When I had a bright yellow, purple and black Ninja, (which I'd named "the angry bumble bee") you know I had the yellow and black helmet to go with it.

And I swear, before any Harley owner is allowed to pick up their ride, they're forced to the back room to sign a contract stating they will wear all black and never smile whenever they're riding. (I'm sure the huge guy with the name "Bubba" stitched on his leather vest who's standing back there glowering at them had nothing to do with it.)

I'll never understand that, (the not smiling part, that is) because when I get to ride my motorcycle, this is what I look like:


Back to the bout before I digress right off the page. I still haven't come up with my roller derby name yet, (The B.F.F. is still set on Pound Cake for some odd reason.)

There were a lot of good ones at the bout on Sunday. (sunday. Sunday! SUNDAAAAY! We'll sell you a ticket for the whole seat, BUT YOU'LL ONLY NEED THE EDGE!!!!!) Dawn of Valhalla, Ida Hitthat, Mystery Violence Theater 3000, and Dirty Girlscout were a few. But the name that had me giggling like an adolescent middle school boy every time they announced it was Her Heiny Granger.

So what's your new love? Is anything right now making you maniacally happy? Or do you have a crazy hobby you'd like to share? Lay it on us!

Now I have to get back to my Sea Monkey wars. They're gaining territory and I don't want them to get used to it. I will soon be engaging in some major chemical warfare. Until next time, Citizens!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

AtoZ Happy Harryhausen Halloween or My Happy Place

Hey there, AtoZers! Nice to see some of you brave enough to venture back! For my theme I'm doing reruns because of the insanely busy schedule I have right now. I also have some type of flu bug running through my system at the moment, so I've been feeling guilty that I haven't gotten out to as many blogs as I'd like, but I'm majorly stressed out and sick, so...Sigh. Not enough time in a day.

Anywho, I couldn't decide on which rerun to post today, so it's a two-fer. The first was originally posted in 2012 and declares my sqeeing fangirl love for Ray Harryhausen movies. The second is from 2009--a post created out of self-preservation and gives you a glimpse of my Happy Place. Enjoy!

Harryhausen Halloween

I may have mentioned a time or two that I have a huge geek streak in me. (Right next to the evil one.) I adore the stop-motion work of Ray Harryhausen. Clash of the Titans was an all time favorite of my youth.

So for your Halloween delight, I found a tribute video on You Tube that showcases his fantastical creations. Here is a full list with pictures of all his creations from

And here they are in their full stop motion glory. Enjoy and Happy Halloween!

My Happy Place

As I look around at the unicorns farting fruit scented air freshner, I take a bite of broccoli that tastes like chocolate and has zero calories. The elves and faeries have taken care of all my laundry. The gnomes found a cork to put in my incontinent dog, and the helpful little birdies are doing the cooking from now on.

Ahhhhh. Finally I can really concentrate on my solution to world peace. *Big sigh of contentment and fulfillment*


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

AtoZ Greetings From the Sea Monkeys

Welcome back AtoZ fans! I hope you're having as much fun visiting blogs as I am. The list of participants are linked to the AtoZ badge over there in my sidebar if you'd like a quick link to who's participating. (After you're finished here, of course. lol)

Today's rerun comes from a post back in 2008. It was a piece I wrote for my writing group's newsletter, and contains the first official mention of sea monkeys at this blog. The Sea Monkeys made many more appearances as the years went on. For instance, any author who does an interview here, must complete the Sea Monkey S.A.T. portion at the end. Though I've been unable to bend them to my will and force them to become my minions to deliver my wrath, enjoy this first peek at why they're so dominant here.

Writing Versus Reality

Sea monkeys are living in my bathtub. Or, at least, that’s what I’m telling my husband. They come in the night and commandeer the shower, creating an environment conducive to sea monkey survival. That’s why I haven’t cleaned it lately. It’s a little known fact that sea monkeys are on the endangered species list. If I cleaned the tub more often, I’d literally be wiping out one of the largest known colonies on the planet. How could I live with myself?

The dust rhinos, on the other hand, are beginning to bully my dogs. I may need to do some eradicating in that arena soon. What am I talking about? Reality. Yes, reality. Reality crashing in and taking away from my time to write.

I wasn’t raised to be a slovenly housekeeper. On the contrary, being raised in the home of my grandmother, I can house clean with the best of them. I can shampoo rugs by hand, mix a powerful cleaning solution out of Borax, and fix an old Hoover faster than Macgyver. However, my ability to clean is not under scrutiny right now. The fact that I choose to sacrifice a supremely clean house for time to write is.

As an aspiring author, I’ve found I need to make trade offs with reality to fit in time to write. I’m sure I’m not alone. We all know it’s crucial to make time for the things important to us. In this case– writing. Unfortunately, no matter how sacred writing time is, reality continues to rear its ugly head and take bites out of any carefully laid schedule. Deftly gobbling up chunks of time set aside to write.

Tell me if this sounds familiar. Have to stop at the bank. Must do holiday shopping. Got to get the oil changed. Holy moly, what’s for dinner? Who used every square of toilet paper in the entire house?! Why didn’t you tell me before that you volunteered me for that? How come there’s no dish detergent? What happened to all the towels? Tell me again why you need to be driven to the library right now? If I don’t do the laundry soon I’ll have to beat it back with a stick when it walks out of there of its own volition.

You get the idea. Reality one; writing zero.

My advice? Let go of something small before all your writing time is eaten away. Having time to write is the only way an aspiring author can make it to authordom. Don’t let the reality time-eaters win!

Here are a few guidelines I’ve created to get that writing score a little higher and to ease my conscience from all the housework I am currently dodging. Feel free to adapt it to whatever you might decide to let slip in the name of that elusive writing time.

1. Dust leaves a lovely patina on furniture, especially if left undisturbed.
2. Dust bunnies make excellent pets.
3. Dog hair is the dog’s contribution to decor.
4. Same thing goes for cats.
5. Dish washing builds character in children.

So now you know my dirty little secret. My house is a bit messy, but I’m feverishly typing away in the small intervals of the day to change my status from aspiring to published. I refuse to let the small time-eating realities of everyday living erode what time I have to write. So fight the good fight and struggle on. And know that the sea monkeys are on your side.

Monday, April 7, 2014

AtoZ Freakout of the Groundhog Day Variety

Welcome once again to Tongue In Cheek. You all must have very strong constitutions to head back here for more. Today we have a rerun from 2012. It does get serious in one paragraph near the end. (I can't be all fun and games all the time around here.) But there's enough zaniness in the beginning to more than make up for it.

I also give you a peek at my back story, which may or may not explain everything. But at least it gives you a bigger picture. I hope you enjoy...

My Annual Groundhog Day Freakout

IM conversation between me and The Man earlier:

Me: Where do we keep our Liquid Nails?

The Man: Ummmm, at the store where they sell it?

Me: Ok. Do we have any more expanding foam? I broke our can of it and could really use some.

TM: Where are you?

Me: At home. Duh.

TM: What the hell are you doing?

Me: Nothing, at the moment, because I don't have the proper tools. Thus the questions. So are you going to help me out or what?

TM: I'm afraid to ask with what.

Me: Just the info I need. So what about the foam?

TM: I'm not answering that.

Me: Fine. But know this, if you're not with me you're against me. Just like the Urchins.

TM: For the record, I'm okay with that. Now can I get back to class?

Me: Fine, but we may need to go out to dinner tonight until the fumes disperse.

TM: Why?

Me: Why do we need to evacuate from fumes?

TM: No. Why all this?

Me: It's Groundhog Day.

TM: (silence) (more silence) Of course it is.

Yes, I have descended into the madness of spring cleaning and it's all the fault of that damn groundhog.

Growing up, I lived in a three story center hall colonial that was owned by my grandmother. Three generations under one roof. Let me tell you, that was...interesting.

But to add to the festivities, my grandmother, the matriarch of the household who could chew nails and spit rust, filled her home with antiques. Antiques  she acquired or fixed on her own. The house was like a museum. Only a museum where you'd never see everything, even if you lived there.

Believe me. I know.

This house had nine rooms, one and a half baths and three large halls. Plus a storage room and cellar. All full up to the brim with antiques. And we cleaned all of it. One room at a time. Now, when I say clean, I mean clean. My grandmother grew up on a farm and lived through the Great Depression. She knew how to clean a house.

First you'd empty the room of furniture. Then the curtains would be taken down and washed. Then you'd scrub the walls and ceilings. Next you would shampoo the oriental rugs by hand after beating them as they hung over the outdoor clothesline. Next you'd refinish the pine wood floors with homemade shellac. (Don't get me started on homemade shellac.)

Next every piece of furniture was dusted, waxed and polished. (We had 63 chairs in that house alone. I kid you not.) After that, all the knickknacks, most as fragile as egg shell, had to be dusted and put back exactly where they belonged. After all that, you reassembled the room. The whole process took several days of non-stop cleaning.

Then you started on the next room. Shampoo, rinse and repeat. Twelve times.

Now at my own house, for the majority of the year, I rebel against the mantra that was pounded into my head from a very young age - A place for everything and everything in its place. But right before Groundhog Day I find myself blurting it out.

And I know it's time. The groundhog is my alarm. Spring is coming. And along with it, spring cleaning.

But this year, I've taken it one step further into the realm of home repair. And I know I wouldn't be going that far if it weren't for the fact that my wonderful dog is dying. Everyday, it's a little harder for her to get up. A little harder to get around. She's eating less and less. I give her love every time I walk past. I tell her she's a good girl.

And I just want to bawl.

So I'm throwing myself into my spring cleaning with even more zealous gusto than usual. Here, right in front of me - this house- is something I can fix. Something I can put right. Since I can't fix Sox.

And so for now and the immediate days ahead I'm obsessive and fanatical and Puritanical in my need to cleanse and repair. And it's all the groundhog's fault.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

AtoZ Eternal Devotion to Sideburn Art

Hello AtoZers! Travel back with me to September of 2011. This rerun is brought to you by my eternal, everlasting, enchanted, eager, earnest, devotion to the male sideburn. Don't forget to visit all the other hep cats participating in the AtoZ Challenge. Just click on the link in the sidebar to find a listing. But for now enjoy some...

Sideburn Art

Yes, the art of the sideburn.

Since time immemorial, men have cultivated the sideburn.

Over the millenia, sideburns have transformed and garnished male faces in many different ways.

As time marched on, More and more ways to incorporate the sideburn came to light.

But I believe the double threat of the mullet/sideburn one-two combo is just not playing fair. (Especially since my regular readers know how I feel about mullets.)

There are many famous sideburn sporting men. For example who could forget The King and his spectacular set of seventies sideburns? Muy Macho!

How about Spock's pointy ones used as a counterpoint to his pointy ears?

And how could I have a post on sideburns without a nod to the contemporary master Hugh "Wolverine" Jackman?

Now some men can go a bit far with their sideburn statements.

But, admitedly, there are a lot of different statements to be made with a well planned sideburn.

It takes a confident man to make a statement with his facial hair. So, to all my male readers out there, don't miss out on this purely masculine fashion opportunity. It's yours for the taking.

Be sure to vote in the comments for your favorite sideburns. I know it's a tough choice, but don't worry, I won't make you defend it.

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