Thursday, August 30, 2007

Stephen Colbert Is On Notice Again, And Separated At Birth Continues

Okay, so I was watching The Colbert Report last night, and once again, I am convinced Stephen Colbert is reading my blog and stealing ideas from it. I made this charge before, called him out on it, and...nothing.

Did you really think something would come of it? Neither did I. But I digress. Anyway, Stephen was doing a segment about Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and put up a graphic of Muppet Guy Smiley! Did I not just do two posts about Muppet lookalikes?! For those of you who are not familiar with either Guy Smiley or Mitt Romney, here is a helpful comparison:

I happen to agree, especially now, since Mitt has begun using some Grecian Formula.

However, if you look closely at Guy's most outstanding facial feature--no, not the popeyes--you'll soon be struck by the overwhelming feeling of familiarity...
Those eyebrows! And...

Holy Crap. Even the nose is the same.

Vintage Dept. of Nance --overheard at the doctor's office

Friday, August 24, 2007

Separated At Birth

Don't tell me you're not feelin' this one. Really, is it just me after a whole day back at The Rock, sweating in 90 degree heat and tropical humidity in our lovely historic (read "un-airconditioned") building? Is it?

Or does Senator John Warner (R-Virginia) bear a striking resemblance to Sam the Eagle from The Muppet Show?

Got something better?

Vintage Dept. of Nance: A Back-to-School Quickie Post

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Sigh. Life's Little Tragedies

Is it too much to ask that I be happy? Is it too much to ask that my life be smooth, uninterrupted bliss? That things be hunky-dory? That a smile be my umbrella? That, instead of clouds, I skip and go directly to silver linings?

Well, apparently.

For instance:

Is there not a single decent unscented "invisible" antiperspirant? Because I have been looking for it for a year now. I am weary of white marks on my clothing. When I did find a clear gel that was okay, it actually bleached my colored tops under the arms! All the Dove brand that guarantee to be invisible (look! we can wear our tops on inside-out!) are scented. I don't want to smell like my deodorant. I want to smell like my cologne. Where is my perfect, unscented, invisible, non-damaging antiperspirant? WHERE IS IT?

I lost one disposable contact. Now I have one more rightie than I do leftie. Forever. I will never get back in sync. When my six-month prescription is done and I must re-up, I will have an extra rightie. I'm trying to stretch out this pair, but my one eye is getting all blurry and crappy and icky and I really need to switch it out, but it's not time for the other. It's all very annoying and upsetting. I like to keep things even and symmetrical at all times whenever possible. You should see me try to keep the dining room rug straight all day. Oh. my. god.

The meatloaf pan did not come completely clean in the dishwasher. This irritates me to no end. I mean, I have a DISHWASHER. The whole point of a "dishwasher" is for IT to wash the dishes. If I have to then handwash something when it comes out of the dishwasher, what is the convenience of that? Back in the old days, before I was forced into the position of modeling good behavior for my personal children, I would have let that sucker ride in there for as many loads as it took for it to come clean. (I think the record for a coffee cup that Rick let fester in his workshop was like, maybe, twelve times. At that point, we ended up tossing it.) But my point, and I do still have one, is this: It is the dishwasher's job to wash the dishes. That is what I paid for it to do. I don't think that is too much to ask.

This weather sucks. We were in a drought for the entire summer. Up until this past weekend, when we moved Jared into college. It rained--no, it poured, continuously the entire time we moved all 6 cartons, refrigerator, microwave, rolling cart, television stand, and miscellaneous stuff into his dormitory tower. It was freezing and wet and miserable. It has continued to rain here in the top tier of Ohio. My fish can pretty much swim over the rim of their pond, check out my basil and tomatoes in the garden, and come knocking on my back door. I go back to work at The Rock on Friday, at which time the rain will be replaced with sizzling 90 degree temperatures and Amazonian humidity. Of. Course. Shoot me now.

Ah, well. "Only through adversity do we become strong." Who said that, anyway? Right now, I wanna smack him. I say, "Bitch a little, wallow a lot, then move on." Or is it, "Bitch a lot, wallow a little...?" Whatever.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Dinner For None

It's official. I have, for one reason or another, totally given up these foods. They are off the menu, out of the rotation, not on the list, without standing.

1. Cheetos. This one is a shocker to everyone who knows me. I am a Cheetos devotee from way back, but last month, I finally hit my limit. I binged and they turned on me. My stomach was a roiling bag of greasy insurrection. Never again.

2. Doughnuts. I cannot recall the last time I had one of these, actually. Or called them by anything but their nickname "GutBombs." Oh sure, they look good. But once I would eat one, it would stick with me--literally, and in every way--for days and days. Honestly, I think the last time I consumed one was in 2000.

3. Orange Juice. Okay, not a food, but a beverage. It always looks so nutritious and sunny and innocent and healthful. But if I drink it, I immediately pay with The Vomity Belches of Destruction. You know what I mean. Those burples that are squirty little surprises of acid in your throat. And then comes the stomach ache. So not worth it. So, forget you, Orange Juice. A day without you is like a day with more sunshine.

4. Sloppy Joes. I finally have come to the realization that, after all these years, I just really do not like these and I do not care who makes them, so do not flood me with your special recipes. It's not the fact that they are or aren't really sloppy. I just don't like them. I'm not really sure why. Maybe because I feel like they are really a sauce masquerading as an entree sandwich. Maybe because my mother used to make such interchangeable chili, sloppy joes, and spaghetti sauce that I just got sick of all three and took it out on the sloppy joes by default. I almost never make them for the Dept., and when I do, I use Manwich. And I just pick at a clump, sans bun, on my plate.

5. Fish. Of any kind. Don't try to tell me all about orange roughy or halibut or tilapia--how mild they are or how they "aren't fishy at all" or how they are firm and meaty like chicken. That's a lot of crap and you know it. Fish is fish. And no, I don't like salmon, really, and yes, I've had it grilled, planked, poached, maple-glazed, and cooked really well by someone who knows how. In Alaska! Pulled right out of the ocean in front of me! So there! I will eat shellfish, but not oysters, which are just the equivalent of a fishy softboiled egg. Quelle horreur.

6. Dutch Loaf. This used to be my favorite luncheon meat when I was a kid. I haven't had it in decades. I probably would, but it now looks so suspect to me, in light of my adult knowledge of nutrition. Also, my kids won't eat it, nor will my husband, and I'm not about to buy it just for myself. So, it's goodby Dutch loaf. (Probably just as well anyway.)

Now, this list is not to be confused with foods I don't like; in a pinch, I'd probably eat each and every one of these if pressed. For example, if you were to invite me to a dinner party and one of these was on the menu, I would be polite and eat it (although if you threw a dinner party and served Dutch loaf sandwiches and Cheetos, I'd probably discreetly tuck a few bucks into your pocket at some point).

So, what foods are off your menu forever and why? Any surprises?
Last Year at The Dept. of Nance: The Alaskan Adventure--Part VIII, The End

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Time To Purge: Of Fireflies, Shoes, Politics, And, Of Course, Brian Williams

I'm so full of it lately.

Not that--I'm always full of that; didn't you see that adverb "lately?" The "it" I'm referring to now is random junk that I keep giving thought time to in spite of my best efforts not to. So it's time for another one of my purgative posts wherein I set free these pesky little Thought Nerfuls that keep tickling the grooves and twists of my grey matter. Now they're yours.

In no particular order:

~#~Man, if pointed-toe shoes go out of style soon, I am in a world of hurt. Oh, I know the round-toe babydoll look sneaked in there briefly, but I let it pass. I knew it wasn't For Real.

~#~I think I'm watching waaaay too much Food Network. I've noticed that when I'm prepping and cooking, I sometimes keep an internal narrative going inside my head: Okay, now when chopping up the red peppers, it's best to chop skin side down so that the knife goes more easily through the vegetable. And, add the cheese last when making pesto so that it doesn't process into paste. I don't do it all the time, but often enough that I'm definitely starting to become concerned.

~#~Hey, I'm here to tell you: It is the humidity.
~#~I've noticed something this summer. Not so many lightning bugs. At least that's what we NE Ohioans call them. You may call them "fireflies" in your location, but whatever you call them, I've seen precious few of them here. I used to have a running contest with the little kid who lived next door as to who would see the first lightning bug of the summer. They were always the harbinger of the season. This summer, there have been very few, and as with most things, I blame the Republicans. Which brings me to...

~#~The fact that I can pretty much boil down every environmental, economical, and societal ill to a Republican failing. Actually, I shouldn't say "Republican" without qualifying it by saying "The Angel of Death's Administration and Its Policies" which basically, for me, typifies what Republicans are. It's like the father in My Big, Fat, Greek Wedding who can trace every single benefit of civilization back to the Greeks. My son, a diehard liberal Democrat who says that only Dennis Kucinich truly stands for everything he (my son, Jared) believes in, said to me once, "Mom, there are some good Republicans." I said, "I doubt it." But I digress. My point is, there are probably fewer lightning bugs due to the outrageously poor environmental policies of the current administration which favor big polluters. See what I mean?

~#~Which brings me to this very useful visual aid, sent to me by my dear VBF, Leanne of Maryland. Not only are her (infrequent) emails often humorous, as I mentioned in an earlier post, but sometimes they contain valuable political info. Here is a wonderful site where you can view a comprehensive but easy to read chart that shows you every presidential candidate's current position on all the big issues from Abortion, Capital Punishment and the Iraq war to No Child Left Behind, Universal Health Care and Same-Sex Marriage. Thank you, Leanne.

~#~All Dept. of Nance readers are well-acquainted with my fascination for Brian Williams. I do, however, watch other news programs and have noticed something. See what you think:

I find these three men facially similar. Especially Chris Hansen, of Dateline's Catch a Predator fame, and dear Brian. It's almost a...Newsman Triptych of sorts! And don't you think that Stone Phillips, with very little major makeup, could play Ronald Reagan in a biopic of same? Take a long look now, and think about it.

~#~And while I'm playing Separated at Birth, here's another good one.

That's William Schneider of CNN and Dr. Bunsen Honeydew of Muppet Labs. I told you that I was full of it. And believe it or not, there's something I'm forgetting, but it'll just have to wait. In the meantime, set your own Nerfuls free in the comments. I've got some extra room now.
Last Year at The Dept. of Nance: The Alaskan Adventure Part VII

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

I Blog, Therefore I Am...Two!

I think I've figured out why I've been so snarky lately. It's the Terrible Twos! In a shocking display of commitment and sticktoitiveness, the Dept. of Nance celebrates its two-year anniversary this week. Two years ago, almost to the day, I claimed my tiny piece of the Internets and posted this. And I sat back and waited. In my laughable naivete, I was unaware of how it all worked and honestly thought that readers would just find and read my blog and post comments galore and I would be happily read and enjoyed by people all over.

Um, duh.

And I also thought that I would have a neverending wellspring of things to write about with wit and wisdom and that I would post every single day. Wasn't I always thinking and opining about something? And wouldn't I be more than thrilled to have a forum in which to air my personal and political views about, oh--everything?


Luckily, I am a student at heart and if the written word exists on the subject, I will read every single syllable of it as many times as is necessary to make it part of my personal knowledge base. Little by little, I researched and read and visited other blogs and became part of the blogging community that began to build around me.

Some bloggers are "niche bloggers." They're food bloggers or mommy bloggers or political bloggers. Honestly, I'm not real sure what I am. One blogger who links to me categorizes me as a "culture critic." I kind of like that. It gives me lots of wiggle room. Sort of a wide berth to move around in. One of my colleagues offered "social satirist." I'm not sure if what I write is always strictly satire. I do like to exploit the irony in everyday situations. I am a little Seinfeldian in that; I am sort of an observational humorist in a lot of what I choose to write about. I'm not sure if I even have to be categorized, do I?

I know a few bloggers who are a little upset that they've kind of plateaued. They've not increased their page hits or their comment counts, no matter what they've done in the past year or so. One or two have taken a hiatus to rethink their blogs, and to perhaps decide whether or not to even continue blogging. I guess I can understand that. It all depends upon why you got into it, I suppose. Sure, I'd love to increase my hits and my comment count. I'd love to suddenly explode with new readers and have lively discussions among my commenters. I'd love it if, suddenly, The NBC Nightly News contacted me about my Tie Reports, or CNN picked up one of my posts about, say...bad fashion or cows in the press, or I had hits on the caliber of Neil at Citizen of the Month, or the mother of all blogging, you-know-who (rhymes with juice), but honestly, I'm doing pretty okay. Could a few of my lurkers come out and just post a comment and say, "hey, I usually lurk, but wanted to let you know I read you"? yeah. Would I be ecstatic with an average of 25 comments? yeah. But I'm pretty happy.

Finally, I think I'm going to have to quit being such a procrastinator and overall fraidy cat and make the Final Last Leap to "New Blogger." I've been resisting the change because I will totally lose all my sidebar changes and have to redo every little single thing. It will take a ton of picky work and likely be an entire afternoon. I have to copy/paste/save every little thing before the move, and I'm frankly scared to death. I hate change. But there are some cool things available on New Blogger that I'd like to do, and also, once the change is made, future revisions will be much easier. Wish me luck.

Oh, and the cake is for everyone. Enjoy. Happy Anniversary to me!

Last Year at The Dept. of Nance: The Alaskan Adventure Part VI

Thursday, August 02, 2007

My Beef With All The Bad Press About Cows

Cows again, my friends, are in the news. I don't go looking for these items; they find me. Yes, it seems that it is My Destiny to be an advocate for my bovine, sistren, is it? whatever--since they cannot effectively manage their own publicity. Cases in point:

Item: Steer's Owner Ticketed for 'Excessive Mooing'. Incredibly, a Washington County, Ohio resident, who owns a single cow named Wally, was served with a misdemeanor citation for "ongoing nuisance cow mooing." Wally, who lives on a 33-acre farm zoned for 50 head of cattle, "moos maybe once or twice a day," says his owner, Karyl Hylle. Important to note is the fact that when the sheriff and/or his deputies had been called out on each of the 21 complaints by the neighbor, Mark (who asked that his last name not be used), Wally never said a single word. Even when prodded by reporters, Wally never uttered a sound. The citation carries a $1000 fine and/or 90 days in jail. Clearly, Mark just hates cows. Or has no knowledge of them. Cows moo. That is their native tongue. And, it would seem Wally does precious little of that as it is.

Item: Man Admits Sexually Molesting Cows. Lest you think this is a random, one-time thing, this 56-year-old man was charged with the same offense in 2000, but "police decided against bringing a cruelty-to-animals charge against Viens [the offender] after consulting with a veterinarian, who said no harm came to the cows." Did this horrific act occur in some Third World, unenlightened country as part of an occult ritual? No! It occurred in Vermont, U.S.A.! The farm employees caught him in the act, the police were called, and Mr. Viens gave them a sworn confession on the spot. Why not? He will only be charged with trespassing, I'm sure. After all, no harm came to the cows! How do they know?

Item: Global Warming and Stylish Cows. I am grown increasingly fatigued of cows being blamed in part for global warming. First was the FearMongering of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (mad cow disease--how I even hate to see it in words before me!), and its effect on beef and dairy, and now the insidiousness of the Republicans trying to mitigate the responsibility of big business by pointing the finger at innocent bovine flatulence. Who amongst us has not had a bit of intestinal gas every now and then? If your diet was made up entirely of grains and grass, wouldn't you have a bit of the bubbleguts? But I digress. An OpEd writer from Pennsylvania went to the PennEnvironment press conference to learn more about the devastation that could be wreaked upon Pennsylvania's particular environment by global warming if left unchecked. According to one spokesman, the forecast is dire for the state's dairy cows, whose milk production would drastically reduce due to heat stress. Rather than take this threat seriously, this cavalier writer instead spun it to blame the cows themselves, asking that since "gassy cows produce one quarter of the methane that's causing global warming," wouldn't it be better if the state's cows die, meaning that fewer of them are producing the gas? When the PennEnvironment guy reminded him that the cows wouldn't necessarily die, but produce less milk, this wag of a writer offered this solution: “couldn't we affix large, floppy sun hats to the cows' heads so they can graze in the heat? They would stay comfortable and look stylish.” I cannot even begin to enumerate the problems with this if he doesn't know them already. The least of which is that no one looks good in large, floppy sunhats especially if one is already large. Duh.

The incessant, inexplicably vicious campaign against cows continues. Their one champion besides me would be, perhaps, the Real California Cheese advertising campaign in which the happy cows play Marco Polo, Knock Knock Zoom Zoom, and otherwise frolic and behave in acceptably fun ways while decidedly not wearing clothing. Do your part. Become an advocate for cows today. Appreciate them. Count them when on long car trips. Moo at them when you pass them. Don't buy figurines of them wearing clothing. And never, ever order your beef well done. That's just wrong.
Last Year at The Dept. of Nance: The Alaskan Adventure Part V
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