Saturday, February 10, 2007

I (heart) MB

Gentlemen, the key to a successful long distance relationship is to find creative ways to tell your girl you love her. Y'all may remember the picture I took at Air Traffic Controller Boot Camp of the radar scope where I wrote "ILUVMB" on the airplane data tag. Here's a picture I sent to Mary Beth a little over a year ago while I was in New Orleans doing Hurricane Katrina clean-up.

There's my Caterpillar track-steer (aka Bobcat) on the left, and yes, that is shaving cream I used to write on the tree. In a disaster zone you learn to make do with what's available.

I love you, Tink!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Technological Blonde ALERT

The SMC Alumnae Association, in lieu of asking me for a whole bunch of money again, has asked for the video file of last week's reading. However, it's an hour long and like forty bazillion megabites or moonpiebits or whatever it is they're called. They've asked me to quote, "trim the file," which means they might as well have asked me to sprout a 3-D model of Zimbabwe directly from my forehead.

missing competence at:

Brother School

The Notre Dame portion of my readings at The Womb did not go, shall we say, as warmly as the alma mater version. I was emceeing the student readings of Notre Dame's Literary Festival, which meant that most of those in attendance were there to see their friends, and, in true college student fashion, they sought escape the instant said friend got off the stage. Those who stayed largely stared at me uncomprehendingly: Who is this old person, and why is she sober? So I felt largely like I was in my own classroom, only while covered in glitter and with the utter inability to fail anybody.

Besides, when I was introduced as a Saint Mary's graduate, the temperature in the room dropped dramatically, and in South Bend, in January, this is kind of saying something. I had been lumbering through campus in pantyhose and a thin femme coat because I needed to look like an adult for once, and every time we ventured outside and I looked over at Josh The Pilot, his face had the tense, drawn look of a person whose snot had instantaneously crystallized.

I don't understand all the SMC-directed chilliness. We are, after all, a college with our own gumball machines.

Don't hate, appreciate.

Before the reading, I prepared like all big-time authors do: by consuming dinner from a cardboard box with plastic utensils. Only the most important University guests get the folding chairs.

Dignity, thy name is spork.

All is forgiven, however, by cookies. You see this? Not only were the napkins swirled, the cookies were too. Even when Notre Dame has its nose in the air, you're looking up some pretty classy nostrils.

posture pal at:

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Hey Houston...?

Well, here's another glorious first for America's space program. A trench coat. Seriously, a trench coat? Were a pair of Groucho Marx eyebrow glasses and a monster mask from the set of Scooby Doo not available?

And-- outstanding mugshot, Lisa. That's practically Nolte-level. Well played.

Used to be the '60's Mercury astronauts couldn't afford to permit the slightest crack in their marriages to show, to the point where one of the Seven had to move back in with his estranged wife for appearance's sake. But NASA 2007: Wigs and BB guns. And a trench coat.

The hotel where she parked her car, btw, is about three quarters of a mile from the Blonde Bachelorette Pad, Central Swamp Edition. I know exactly where it is. Right by the Cracker Barrel. I imagine this will now be a point of advertisement for the LaQuinta Inn, Orlando Airport North location. ("Complimentary Breakfast, Free Wi-Fi, Reduced Rate for Pending Leno Punchlines.")

Several have been mystified why Astronaut Nowak wore diapers during her (charming, I'm sure) hurtle from Houston to Orlando. I have no idea how this whole love pentagon got started, but I do know where Nowak got the Depends idea: Her employer. The astronauts are diapered during liftoff since they spend so much time in the pressure suits, strapped to their couches. And after the mission, they fluid-load before landing to compensate for the fact that the human body, in orbit, mistakenly considers itself water-logged and so doesn't concern itself with a whole lot of retention. (I find this awesome. Next PMS cycle, I'm heading for the launchpad.) The water helps keep the crew from feeling lightheaded when they re-experience full gravity. Basically, if you're trying to line up the orbiter for landing going 200+ miles an hour with no second chances and half a gallon of water seeking an exit strategy, you don't want to be all, "Dude, we need to find a gas station." Sorry to ruin the whole Right Stuff mystique and all, but-- yeah. Diapered.

I'm also gratified to know that the parking security forces at the Orlando International Airport are useful for slightly more than frantic whistle-blowing at Mini Coopers that linger longer than .0000004 seconds at the passenger pickup exit.

at least she's used to orange jumpsuits and enclosed spaces (tm Dave Barry reader) at:

Monday, February 05, 2007

My famous author-girlfriend

Here's Tink posing with Drink To The Lasses at the Saint Mary's and Notre Dame bookstores. To get her to show me the rest of each campus I had to physically drag her away from the displays or else all she would have done is sat there and stared at her book propped up on the little stands.

The little stands were pretty cool. I think MB was expecting the book to be shoved away in a corner, buried under a stack of other books, but here it is, on a very nice display. Now if only Barnes and Noble would have as much wisdom as SMC and ND...

Sunday, February 04, 2007

He Unscrewed the Pooch UPDATE


Things I Never Want to Hear a Football Commentator Say Again, Ever

"Looks like he got off."

Fumbled Snap UPDATE

Yeah, forget I said anything.

Hunter Punter

I now have the ability to type that I totally know somebody playing in the Super Bowl: The Colts' punter, Hunter Smith, of the University of Notre Dame, Class of '99. We met in a student Bible study group when I was a freshman and then pretty much never talked to one another again. So... not so much with the media pass from Hunter.

Here's what I remember about Hunter: If his sweet nature didn't captivate you, his general Texasism did. When he spoke, it was slowly, and where prayer was concerned, with a great deal of seriousness. One night, when the group leader asked for prayer intentions, Hunter put a hand in the air. He was invited to speak.

He sat there for a few seconds. "I have the hardest test in the world tomorrow," he announced gravely.

The girl sitting next to me offered to take it for him.

"Do you know anything about genetics?" Hunter asked soulfully.

"No," she admitted.

He sighed. "You'd probably do better'n me anyway." Then he took out a gutar and sang "Love, Me" and made everybody cry into their Bible bookmarks.

I have the high honor of absolutely horrifying him one night when I spoke about Psalms 103:1-5, and discussed what a mood-lifter it was. I called it my Mountain Dew verse.

"You're tired," I said, "you read this. You're sad, you read this. You're feeling obnoxious, you read this. I highly recommend it for PMS."

I sat back in my folding chair to enjoy the uproar.

"I don't get it," Hunter said when everybody had picked themselves up off the floor.

"Okay," said one of the ladies. "You ever had a long-term girlfriend?"


"And what happens every month?"

"They... get mean?"

Revalation dawned for The Punter. He gaped at me. "I can't believe she just said that!"

Well, God bless, Hunter Smith. Unless, of course, you screw up. Then I'm all "I don't know nothin' 'bout no Hunter Punter."

still #17 at:

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