flightless hag

A chronicle of the adventures of birdwoman: a lonely, talentless freak who wanders the internet in search of entertainment.

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Location: Philly

I'm a 40-something married white female, survivor of weight watchers, avid reader of pulp. Dogs (not cats), extreme right (handed, not politics), ENTJ, alto, wanna-be knitter.

May 31, 2005

45 Days

Well, the Moth has been quite ill for the last week – giving his mother terrible visions of fever-induced seizures and blindness due to severe eye-infection and wasting away due to not eating… to quote “The Crow,” I never was too good at this Mommy shit.

Kids make me nervous. Especially when they’re sick.

Also, I’ve been going back through books 1-5, in anticipation. I’m just aquiver to know – what kind of OWLS will the trio get? Have we heard the last of Umbridge? Will Percy EVER get his head out of his butt? 45 days from now, most of the world will find out. I, however, will be waiting for my edition to come over via owl from the UK… so I guess I’ll have more like 60 days to wait…

(for those who are still in the dark, I’m a
Harry Potter nut, and am full of anticipation for the next book. The suspense is terrible, I hope it lasts…)

Meanwhile, I’m gonna go visit some of my fellow blogs that I’ve avoided for a week or so. I’m anxious to see how everyone’s doing…


May 18, 2005

Deep Thought for the Day

Two wrongs don't make a right. But three lefts do.


May 17, 2005

The Evening Bulletin

Have I mentioned that Philly’s got a brand new rag? Small, evening paper, not online yet, called the Evening Bulletin. Seems to be a little more red (not read) than the Inquirer. The readers, though, seem to be the same ones that read the Inquirer. Main difference is, the Inquirer prints scads of their letters as a testament to their own beliefs. The Bulletin seems to be handling this a little differently:

CIA: Wrong On Iraq, Wrong On Iran, Too
To The Editor –
In reading and re-reading your front-page story “CIA Source Details Iran’s Secret Nuclear Weapons Plan” (The Evening Bulletin, May 10), I did not see any indication as to whether or not this was the same CIA that told the world that Iraq had :weapons of mass destruction and an arsenal of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons” and that Saddam was going to attack America tomorrow morning at three and that we would all be dead in our beds by eight.

I think that we should have been told.

After all, we now (sic) how accurate that statement was. Wasn’t the CIA responsible for the (mis)information and photos that Uncle Tom Powell referred to at the UN? Wasn’t the CIA that provided the (mis)information that the Bush regime used as justification to ram lies down the throats of “our allies”? No doubt, the thinking is that a good lie is too good to waste and should be used over again. (“Thank you, Father Goebbels.”) (I think I’ve got the mindset here – Hitler reference and all, so I’m gonna snip the rest, including the jerk’s name - ed)

The Evening Bulletin replies:
We believe that the fact Mr. K would refer to Colin Powell as an “Uncle Tom” tells us most of what we need to know about his view of the world. While we find such sentiments contemptible and offensive, we publish these sorts of letters from time to time as a public service, in order to give our readers a more accurate depiction of what passes for organized thinking in the loopier quarters of American politics.
(snip, again - ed)

Did I say that I’m gonna subscribe to this, as soon as they deliver to the burbs? I already subscribe to the pinko-rag, so I might as well support the other side, too.


May 16, 2005

Another Victim of Technological Progress

We’ve all witnessed the march of technology, and for the most part, we’re all thankful beneficiaries of new gadgets. But let us not forget the unsung victims of this progress.

What of the 8-track? The BetaMax? What, my friends, of the CB Radio?

Do you think today’s youth have any understanding of the phrase “Breaker 1-9”?

I was listening to 70’s on 7 – an XM channel – when the delightful old song
“Convoy” came on the air. All the talk of “bears” and “smokeys” and other CB lingo brought a smile to my face... Do you think that jargon’s gone the way of Esperanto?

“[on the cb]
Ah, breaker one-nine, this here's the rubber duck. you gotta copy on me, pig pen, c'mon? ah, yeah, 10-4, pig pen, fer shure, fer shure. by golly, it's clean clear to flag town, c'mon. yeah, that’s a Big 10-4 there, pig pen, yeah, we definitely got the front door, good buddy. mercy sakes alive, looks like we got us a convoy...”

I went to my local artsy-fartsy video store – they rent just about anything! They carry weird French films, classic cult films like Shriek of the Mutilated: you name it, they got it. But did they have the movie Convoy, a 1978 gem starting Kris Kristofferson that was based on this song, on their shelves? No, they did not. I think it’s because the CB has gone the way of the dodo. (It certainly can’t be the quality of the movie.)

Everyone should go out and ask your local video store to carry a copy, lest the CB Radio be forgotten.


May 12, 2005

50 Things I Love About Philly In No Order Particularly - #42

(Like the title says, this is a list of things I've loved about philly, in the 17 years I've lived in this area. Also, like the title says, they're in no particular order. It's also not an inculsive list. These were just the first fifty that popped into my head. I'm gonna dish one up fresh, weekly. Also, I've started at the "bottom" to keep you tuned in. It's part of my nefarious plan for readership. Mwa-ha-ha-haaaaa.)

Back before the days of the Pennsylvania Convention Center, when the Gallery was the only thing between City Hall and Penns Landing, the 11th /13th and Market/Arch area was kinda scary. There were lots of porn-type shops. There was (and still is) the Greyhound bus terminal, with all its fun types. It was the outer edge of Chinatown, and it was not a pretty place.

One of the buildings that front-ended onto Market street was the Reading Terminal. Behind it, you could see where the trains used to come in. On its face was some of the most incredible brickwork and stone carving on its edifice. It was dirty and worn, and there were always rumors of its imminent demise.

The only thing keeping the building alive was the Market. In the basement of the building, accessible at 11th and Filbert, is the Reading Terminal Market. Here, a conglomeration of salesman arrange their wares. There’s the Chinese vegetable merchant, the Indian spice merchant, the Amish butcher, the IceCream shop, the All Night Diner, Termini’s bakery… It was (and is) one of the neatest places to do your shopping if you live in the vicinity.

After all the changes (the building was saved, and, marvel of marvels, RESTORED), the market is still there. A little cleaner, a little more yuppified, but still, a great place. Visit it sometime. And have a dark chocolate truffle for me!


May 11, 2005

He Was Just A Boy

So they did a CAT scan (why cat? why not dog? never did understand that) of Tut's mummy. Then they did some cgi rendering of the mummy to give us what he really looked like :

Say what you want about his looks, his race, whatever. One dj compared the mummy to the pictures of aliens from Area 51 conspiracy theories. But what strikes me is just how young this guy is. He was just a kid.


May 09, 2005

What A Monday!

For the first time in I don’t know how long, son and heir wet the bed.

Not one to be left behind, son and spare also wet the bed.

After hastily throwing the bedclothes etc into the laundry (oh, and I was so proud of that empty laundry basket last night!), we got the kids ready for school.

Get out of the car at school to find someone’s milk jug has leaked all over my front seat. I have a dark blue car, and it’s supposed to be sunny and 74 degrees today. I can’t wait to see what new smells I discover this afternoon!

Get to my desk, put milk in my coffee, only to find after I taste it that the milk has gone south. IT WASN’T SUPPOSED TO GO BAD TIL WEDNESDAY!


All this before 7:30 am.

How has your Monday been?


May 04, 2005

Freaked Out Again

And this time, unlike the stupid MTV show, I can’t quite put into words why. (I guess that shows the limitation of my mind).

Last night on Discovery Health, I got trapped into a train-wreck called
“14 Children And Pregnant Again!”. This was the story of the Duggar family, a devout Christian family from Arkansas. Michele, the mom of the tribe, is just about my age – maybe five years older. She has 15 children. She’s had almost one pregnancy a year for the last 16 years.

I’m not sure what about this freaked me out so much. Being the youngest of eight, I always have always felt kind of odd. You know, people always give you a weird look or chortle when you mention how many siblings you have.

Maybe it’s my knee-jerk societal reaction. We’re taught that women aren’t supposed to be “baby factories”, that girls aren’t supposed to be the cooks/cleaners, that our roles are supposed to be less traditional as our society matures. You don’t get more traditional than this family – right down to girls-wear-dresses, boys-wear-pants.

Maybe it’s because I know that none of those kids has a single set of parents. The family is a village. As soon as you’re old enough, you’re charged with rearing your siblings. This weighs more heavily on the older girl sibs, as I have noticed in the larger clans in my family.

Then again, maybe it’s the religion. Something about this glazed-eye Christianity really bugs the crap out of me. I don't know why. Am I a religio-phobe? I hate the ACLU's crusade to rid the public of Christian paraphenalia. I've known lots of folks who put the Lord first in their lives, and though I don't pretend to understand, I certainly respect their right to do so.

Do I support the Duggars right to have 25 kids if they so choose? Absolutely. But watching a special on them really, really freaked me out. Any amateur psycho-analysts want to weigh in here?


May 02, 2005

Fantabulous Fiction and Those Who Hate It

So, I got an advanced reading copy of Undead and Unappreciated. So Loved It! I went on over to Amazon to tell the world and make folks who are waiting for it jealous (hey, I get my kicks where I can). They wouldn’t let me review it. Damn them!

So, I decide to go read the reviews for the first book in the series: Undead and Unwed. I loved this book (hence, I’m excited about reading the third book in the series), so I immediately looked for the reviews that hated it.

I’m perverse. I can’t help it.

The best summary of the series is this (from the above link): “What would happen if, say Cher from Clueless woke to find herself a vampire?”

So, I’m perusing the rotten tomatoes, seeing where my taste fails in others. I can see some points, but most, I think, don’t get the mood of the whole book.

I found the following piece of one review funny as hell with regards to irony:

“…That however was not the worst part. It was the idotic heroin (and I use that word lightly. Feather light.) Could anyone be nore vapid, self-centered and dare I say just plane stupid? I don't know maybe that was the whole point. All I know is that I'm never going to read another book by this author again.”

I can’t type [sic] enough, there. Pot, calling kettle. Come in, kettle

I'm self-conscious about the fact that, though I'm a voracious reader, I read genre-fiction almost exclusively. And genre-fiction is not "serious literature". I've been harangued in the bookstore where I worked; I've been harrassed on the commuter train. Something about having an open romance or sci-fi or vampire novel in your hand that makes people want to give you their opinion on what you should be reading.

To those oh-so-learned folks, I offer this quote. As usual, a real writer says it better than I ever could.

"Some who have read the book, or at any rate have reviewed it, have found it boring, absurd or contemptible; and I have no cause to complain, since I have similar opinions of the their works, or of the kinds of writings that they evidently prefer." - J.R.R. Tolkien


Would Local Zoning Committees Go Bananas?

So, the Hag family was making its way back home yesterday after another weekend away. This time, it was up to see my relatives in the wilds of North Eastern PA. The journey is a tedious one, mostly following the northeast extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Gads, that road is boring.

One thing we’ve noticed over the years is the steady progression south of the preachy billboards. You know, the religious billboards (“Jesus Comes As Lightning…” – side note here: my brother, whose house was struck by lightning twice within a week or so, must have some beef with the Almighty. At the very least, the big JC owes him a TV and a VCR.) or the sanctimonious billboards (“Perseverence” with a picture of Michele Kwan on it… yukk) that don’t sell anything, just try to cause “deep thoughts” among drivers on the turnpike.


To counter this annoying trend, we were discussing the boards the Rogers clan would put up if we had tons of money and nothing better to do with it. I’d love to do some like those fake-o business motivation posters from
Despair, Inc: “ADVERSITY: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable”.

John came up with a good one of his own after seeing the latest in a line of “hotline” billboards. “Considering Suicide? Go ahead! Nobody ever said life’s for everybody! (brought to you by the negative population growth committee.)”

Anybody want to sponsor us?