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.

January 28, 2012

Oh, How Embarrassing!

So, birdmom, Stinky, and the Moth accompanied me to the store today. Mom wanted bread, and I think that's all the woman eats, so off to the Hostess Remainders Store we went. And she bought 4 loaves of bread. Dude.

While we were out that way, I said, "who wants to go to the chocolate store?" And of course, we all did. So, we went, got our theobromine, and headed home. Now, the road from the mall is 45, but it's a local road, so I always go about 40. Today, there was a mr. policeman behind me.

Sure enough, he has me pull over. So I do.

I was in the speed limit. My registration and inspection are fine. ??????????

Got the papers ready - you know, license, proof of insurance, registration. My mother is horrified, thinking she pushed some button that made the car flash. The kids are like,"What did we do??"

Mr. policeofficer asks if I know why he pulled me over. I am mystified. He says, "your little one doesn't have a seat belt on.

"What?!" I replied, shocked. "He had a seat belt on when we left the mall!"

"I have my seat belt on!" Tim protested.

"He has it on now," Mr. policeofficer replies, "but did you just have him put it on? He turned around to look at me several times as we were driving up the road, ma'am. He couldn't do that with a seat belt on."

At the officer is explaining this, Moth turns in his seat to look back at the police car, with his seatbelt on.

So, we got off scot free... even though we were completely innocent of wrongdoing, I expected some kind of warning about having weird kids or something. And you know, I'll never let mothman live this one down. By the time he's 18, I will have been arrested, spent 2 nights in the pokey, and had to panhandle for my bail money. All because he couldn't sit still in his seat.


Stinky has started to be a little metal-head. He's been playing my Def Leppard CD's non-stop. I just got out Aerosmith's Big Ones to see if he'd like that. He wants Disturbed and Drowning Pool (and someone played Bodies for him) (gadzooks, next he'll be asking for System of a Down), but those are just a little too harsh yet. Any suggestions for metal that's not murderous?

I think he listens to it simply to shock his elders. Doesn't work on dad or me (note, they are my cd's he's borrowing), but it is a slam dunk with my mother. She's all like "so, you don't like music, do you?" And he replies "I like metal!" and she looks appropriately horrified. Metal, for an 11 year old. But he doesn't like John Denver. He must be mentally challenged.

At least she doesn't ask him if he's wearing "that" to school today, like she used to with me, when I was in high school. Wait, she still asks me that. Heh.


January 27, 2012

waaay too early...

Was yesterday a holiday, and I missed it? I mean, I'm generally pretty clueless, but...

The lady at the train stop reeked of old beer and cigs, evidence of heavy celebration last e'en
The boys at the next train were all effusing eau de Mary Jane, if you gather my meaning. But again, it was old...
And the dude on the last train was sippin from a 40 - hair of the tail of the dog that bit him, I suppose.

And here I am, recovering from my full evening of sleep. Crashed at 7:30 last night. And I'm not sick. Physically, that is. I remember my mom and kids listening to wheel of morons (see below), and that's it. 4:30 came, as it usually does, and with the rain, I stayed in until 5.

So, these partiers must have been celebrating the fact that I got sleep. After all, the world is hag-o-centric, if you didn't know.

My mom has been having a hard time with this Joe Paterno thing. She doesn't believe that the Jerry guy did anything, but if he did, it was certainly with teenage, almost adult, young men, who probably were in agreement to do whatever he wanted them to do.

Evil like what that dude did does not compute in her mind. She simply cannot believe it happened.

She believes with her whole mind and heart that JoePa did not do anything wrong - that he was utterly blameless in the whole debacle, and was hounded to his death. She is absolutely grieving for this man, this football coach, this "hero."

Don't get me wrong. I don't have a horse in this race. As a Temple alumnus, I have very little understanding of the whole JoePa phenomenon, though I acknowledge that he seems to have been a good man and a great coach. He almost certainly made a bad decision with the pedophile-in-his-ranks thing. He almost certainly was a victim of scapegoat syndrome.

I do find it rather hypocritical that the press villified Paterno for weeks - practically calling for his head when the scandal came out, and gloating when he got fired. Now, they're suffering from a kind of buyers remorse. I don't think the people of Pennsylvania will forget that these reporters who are lionizing Paterno during the week of his funeral were the same ones to lambast the man for not turning over a third-hand report of possible (probable) evil-doings.

Meanwhile, my mother is going through grief for this man she never met, but who somehow seems to have meant the world to her. So if you know her, give her a call. She's feeling pretty down this week.

And now, I have to grade papers. Joy! Happy friday!


January 18, 2012

We Are Legion

So, the voices on the subway... not the ones in my head, but the ones that tell where the train is (supposedly), where it's going (eventually), and to step back from the doors... they're automated these days. When I first started taking Septic... err... SEPTA (south eastern pennsylvania transportation authority), they were driver initiated - what you could hear through the static. It was rather Charlie Brown Teacher like back then.

But the automated voices are clear, precise, and usually correct. Sometimes, they put the wrong soundtrack on. Sometimes, they get off by a stop or two. Today, they had on BOTH soundtracks (west and eastbound) at one time - just a pinch of a second off of one another. It was as though the demon voices from the Exorcist had taken residence. And the driver never bothered to fix it.

I always thought when that lady held up the placard in Girard station, the one that said "You're on the Express Train to Hell!", was being metaphorical. Mayhap no?


So, my Mom is staying with us this winter, though it is not nearly so cold or snowy as the ones in recent past. We've been doing well this year. I let her boss me around, mostly, but then I fight back. Nothing like being with your mom for a few weeks to make you feel like a petulant teenager. I don't want fricking butter on my fricking vegetables, woman. I know that's how you roll. I am fat. I prefer my tastiness in dessert. Vegetables are penance, and not meant to be fatty.

In the end, I have to remove my vegetables before she can touch them, and put my hands over them to stop her putting butter on them.

She is very easily offended - any time I do something differently than she would or ignore her passive aggressive suggestions (I would think that Timothy would be practicing his piano now, not reading...) she gets all huffy and closes herself off. I, however, am not so easily insulted, and give her 10 minutes before barging in and asking if she would _____ (some household chore I hate but she will groove on being able to do for me). And all is well again.

In the end, I feel bad. She wants to work; I do not. She cannot work; I can. It frustrates the crap out of her, this being old. In a strange turn, I think my laziness actually encourages her, because she doesn't feel guilty that I'm working so hard when I get home. But still, she harkens to the days of milking in the morning, cleaning all day, and collapsing in an exhausted heap in the evening.

She cannot accept time with any grace whatsoever. She wants it to be 1979 forever.

I wonder what year I will yearn for if I ever have to be that old.

I did take her to see the new Dolly Parton movie this week, and it was an experience. Let us just say that I am glad that people look with bemused tolerance.

She doesn't know how to whisper, and she has no filter.

(when a rather well-endowed young lady is messing around in the kitchen in a housecoat after some... happy times with a young man)  "Wow, she's a biggie! I thought for a second that was Oprah!"

(when another gospel music song was being done, complete with dance moves) "Those black people sure can dance!"

et cetera, et cetera (as yul would say).

The first few times, I cringed. Then, I realized, she's *that* little old lady! Not mean, certainly not malicious, just... out of it!

That can't be my mom.

Alas, it is.

Mostly, we're having fun, though John's presence still scares her away. I told him to stop beating her, but there you have it.

And now, it's time to teach the kiddies. Have a good day, and pass it on.


January 13, 2012

Friday Morning Rants

So, this blog is a place for me to complain, more than I already do. Right?

The place I work is a very old building, and as it is a public property that does not get tourists, it is not very well maintained. Take the bathrooms. They remind me of the bathrooms in the old community building, except there is plumbing. People from Lemon will know whereof I speak. They're dark, cold, dank, the toilet paper holders are barely on the walls, and they're the wrong size for the tp that we get, so it doesn't spin, if you know what I mean.

If this were my place, for real, I'd make some simple changes. I'd put in a toilet paper stand - free standing if you know what I mean - and I'd put real TP in there. We could spring for rolls between us. TP is not that expensive, and to have good stuff would be nice. You know? There's just NOTHING as revolting as using tp and finding it didn't hold up. Or as embarrassing as using too much of the tp for fear of it not holding up, and finding it clogs the crapper.

I'd also put a little corner stand in there, with an extra roll and air freshener.

I already brought in decent hand soap, as I'm allergic to the stuff in the dispenser. Twice this year, actually. It gets used, but I didn't notice anyone rushing to replace it the last time it was gone. Which is why I've done none of the rest of the above.

I really don't like communal things, because people, in general, are creeps. The fridge upstairs is DISGUSTING as is the microwave. I've cleaned both out 2 times since I've been here. WHAT THE HECK, PEOPLE? If you have old food, throw it out! If you spill your milk, well, let me introduce you to a relatively new invention called the NAPKIN.  If you have exploded in the microwave, clean it up! There is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON that the turntable in the microwave should CRUNCH as it turns.

I leave you, gentle reader, to consider that statement.


Last night at the aviary, we had a tragedy.

The only present the Moth really wanted for christmas was this incredibly complicated LEGO set. A star wars ship. He spent an entire morning of vacation putting the thing together, and it was fantastic. He played with it EVERY DAY.

And last night, as he was flying it, he lost control. He ended up throwing it into the wall. He started to breathe very heavily - the pre cry - and it just about broke my heart. Especially since the directions for making it got thrown out.

So I sat for about 20 minutes, trying to figure out what went where, Mothy crying, Mom hovering (and pissing me off, till I asked her to stop watching me, to which she said she was going to go home, sigh, I am no diplomat, for sure), and Stinky actually feeling bad for his brother for once.

Then I remembered the internet. And spent the rest of the night fixing the Slave Ship 1.

And I felt like a hero. :)


January 08, 2012

It's Gameshow Time!

Well, it’s that time of year again! Birdmom has landed at the aviary.  With her come cookies, candy, and lots of television. The Moth, in particular, has developed the taste of watching game shows with Grandma from 7-8, daily.

Now, most of us are fine with Jeopardy. Stinky will shout out answers from whatever room he’s in (Bird Mom, like most seniors, has no problem with her hearing. Really.  She just likes to have the television a little… loud). I simply put on headphones or Harvey hearing (the enviable ability to ignore all outside aural stimuli is fantastic!) 

But for some reason, wheel of fortune annoys me, and Stinky, to no end. I have taken to calling it Wheel of Morons. Not that the people on it are morons. I simply hate that show.

At the dinner table last night, the Moth was asking why he and grandma hadn’t been able to watch Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune. It was, of course, Saturday, and these bastions of television entertainment only show Monday through Friday. So Stinky came up with this skit – his very own episode of Wheel of Morons. Believe it or not, all of these puns and silliness came from Stinky. I’ve just added the punctuation. The sarcasm gene runs strong in the Hag family.

Wheel of morons!!

(We cut to the middle of the show, where the current unfinished puzzle is: “TH_ COW SAYS _OO!”  and our contestant, Nelson Numbskull, has just gotten the wheel)

Nelson: I’d like to buy a vowel!

Pat: Go ahead

Nelson: How about a T?

Pat: (sighs) T is not a vowel.

Nelson: OK then, how about an R?

Pat: (closes eyes,  breathes deeply) R is not a vowel, either.

Nelson: Can I buy a consonant, then?

Pat: (Glares) We don’t sell consonants, only vowels!

Nelson: Oh, (pauses) too bad. I was going to buy Asia.

Pat: (rolling eyes) Asia is a CONTINENT not a CONSONANT

Nelson: Huh? Well, anyway, I think I can solve the puzzle!

Pat: (excited at the prospect of this torture ending) go ahead then


Pat: (bonks head on announcers’s desk) Must Get Jeopardy Job!

Pretty funny, huh? Does he have a future writing for mad?


January 05, 2012

Overheard at the Dusty Aviary Dinner Table...

(double post... also on Facebook... but this one is too good to forget)

Mothman: "Sean, do you like the 69ers?"
Mom: "The WHO WHAT NOW??"
Mothman: "The 69ers! They're a sports team!"
Stinky: "Do you mean the 76ers? Or the 49ers?"
Mothman: "Yeah! The 49ers! Mom? Why are you laughing?? Mom?"

So the cold has made its way to the dusty aviary. It is stupid cold. I have found out that leather doesn't quite cut the train-platform winter wind. So, I'm gonna be a good capitalist and buy a new coat. Got to get rid of some of my old ones, anyhow - size too huge for me to ever wear again. I'm fat again, but still 40 less than I was when I wore those coats. So, Out with them!!

New Scientist continues to entertain... in "yeah, that's logical. Hey, people get paid to study that?" news, it seems that going to a SNAKE CHARMER instead of a DOCTOR when you get bitten by a poisonous snake is likely to lead to death.

Go figure.

I wonder if there was an NSF grant to figure that one out. Sheesh.

Elsewhere, it seems someone has done some long term studies that show that athletes who take part in marathons, triathlons, and alpine cycling risk damaging the right ventricle of their heart, which pumps blood to the lungs. Five of 40 such athletes studied developed permanent scarring of the chamber. Sorry if either of those are subscriber only.

This of course is good news to me. I only need the smallest of excuses to cut running down!!

Well, I have to go finish up a powerpoint. Later, gators!