Monday, August 1, 2016

Taking Cajun French Leave

Podners, I've been posting on eViL pOp TaRt quite regularly for about six years now; and it has been a lot of fun. However, lately my efforts have been in my opinion substandard. I'm not sure whether I've run out of stories and fluff; or whether it's a case of writer's block. Anyway, I think it's better to ease up while I'm not too far behind rather than become a broken record or go in for cheap amusements. Also, I now have a surfeit of demands that are the consequence of growing up. I think they need to re-tool that life stage. Being a teen or college student was more fun.

I may put something up from time to time; but I sensed a definite decline from my stuff from 2010-2011. Why subject you to more crap?

I'll still follow others' blogs (see "Blogs I follow) while I continue to plunge into the brackish, algae-filled waters of the workaday world.

Bless you all, mes amis! Lasser les bon temps rouler toujours!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Being a Crazy Cat Lady

The term 'crazy cat lady' has been around for a while, and poplarized in The Simpsons.  It represents a specific stereotype of a somewhat single older woman with large numbers of semi-feral cats that she feeds precariously and does not effectively clean up after them. Having large numbers of cats in this kind of condition often is a form of animal hoarding, related to obsessive-compulsive behavior. There was even marketed an action figure of a crazy cat lady.

The stereotype almost always involves a middle-aged female. But why are the possible concepts 'crazy cat gentleman' or 'crazy cat couple' not also floating around? 

And why does no one refer to 'crazy dog lady' or 'crazy dog couple'?

Anyway, how many cats constitutes animal hoarding? From what I've read, five cats is seen as a possible dividing line; but this allows for some wiggle room. For example, are the cats well-fed and comfortable? Are the surroundings neat and clean? Is the caretaker able to live comfortably, without undue noise or odors and be able to have a normal life? If so, no problem. The bounds of obsessive-compulsive behavior are somewhat flexible.

And what if the person in question is trying to save or revive an endangered breed of cats? Obviously, these might not be seen as animal hoarders; but as protectors of endangered breeds. Or even geneticists.

Here's Dr. Lyudmilla Trut, a Russian geneticist who continued the work in domesticating the Russian domesticated red fox. Following a line of research by Dmitri Belyaev, she was able to breed over time a subvariety of fox that looked and acted more like dogs than their wild counterparts. Since her interest was genetic, she should in no way be called a 'crazy fox lady,' or simply a 'foxy lady.' Indeed, Dr. Trut has been involved in a classic, ongoing breeding study that broke some new ground on genetics and environment. Her research needs to be more widely known than is currently the case.

As a bonus, she wound up with cuddly, serious dog-like foxes that are totally adorable!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Is This the Ideal Feminine Face?

A few years ago, scientists found that among 8,000 possibilities this is the most loveable feminine face. She's Florence Colgate, and she lives in Britain. Her face is characterized by full facial symmetry (her right and left sides are identical), the pupils of her eyes are apart about 44% of the facial width (46% is ideal), and the distance between her eyes and mouth are 32.8% (33.3% is ideal). 

Florence apparently does not take this very seriously, but others did. While she was chosen by vote, apparently her biometrics very closely approximate those of the ideal female face according to scientists.

More recently, these five celebrities were the first five rated as the most ideally attractive woman: Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson, Taylor Swift, Kendall Jenner, and Keira Knightley.

So what specifics contribute to the ideal feminine face? The person having a heart-shaped face, almond-shaped eyes, arched eyebrows, a small, slim nose, and full lips. Apparently hair color and height are not as important. I have no idea how this research was funded but it could have applications. 

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Another Day of the Locust

We got a double dose of bad news, The big one, of course, is Donald Trump getting the Republican nomination for President of the United States. Guys, how could you? Have you completely turned away from the Constitution and the ideal of limited government? He's sounding like a possible strong man, playing fast and loose with our Constitution and the idea of checks and balances in government. I am totally scared. A bowel-emptying scared. This, on top of the recent shootings, makes for a bad situation. And this guy admires Vladimir Putin? Oh my God!

And to pile on the miseries, now David Duke, that former Klan leader, has announced his candidacy for the Senate from Louisiana. True, Louisiana has sent some doozies in the past, but this is taking it up a few notches. I can't do much about my beloved Louisiana, except pray.

Time to resurrect an old bumper sticker from  the past:

And not lose heart. After all, I'm an American girl!

Friday, July 22, 2016


Let's consider a possible rom-com movie story of sorts.

The scene opens with a very sincere, somewhat timid and very correct professor getting cornered by an attractive blonde with either sex or an "A" grade (perhaps both) in mind.  This is basic stock material for a sitcom or at least a teen-oriented movie.

Hips don't lie, as Shakira sang; and perky protuberances provide some further temptation.

"Ohhh, Professor. . . . I really need an "A" in my Lit class.  Is there anything I can do?"  [Corners him against the blackboard while grinding her pelvis against him]

"Well, Ms. Jones, you might spend your time studying for it."

For young and no-so-young adults, the opportunities for meeting new people become drastically limited after the time they attended college.  Mostly, they see people in their workplace.  But dating a co-worker can be risky business.  For some people, taking a college class (especially a continuing education class), is seen as an opportunity for meeting members of the opposite sex.  And all the better if the professor or other student is handsome! 

So this is both the real life and the fictional fantasy.  In the movie, the professor is always handsome and distinguished.  The flirt is always sexy and beautiful; and is willing to offer sexual considerations to get what she wants.  In some cases it's the grade; in others, it's snaring a prof for a mate.

Maybe a rom-com, in which the professor gets saved in the nick of time by the love and attention of a nice woman, who manages to eclipse the unsubtle approach of the bold woman, who gets her comeuppance in the end (plus the "C" or "D" which she rated). Real life is not so neat and tidy.

I made an iron-clad policy when I went to grad school: don't date profs in my field.  And, obviously, no married guys, period.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Other -Crats to Consider

Years ago the paleohipsters referred to those who were totally cool as "cool cats." And that was supposed to be something to aspire to in some circles. Now I don't know how long that expression was around, but it still has some cachet to it, like a Coach bag or a red carpet-worthy designer gown in some circles I'm not allowed into by the Great Doorman to Such Things to keep the Target shoppers like me at bay! 

The word "democrat" (lower case generic term) has a general meaning as well. And numerous other '-crats' are in its wake. Like:


And the allied words aristocracy, bureaucracy, kleptocracy, monocracy, technocracy, theocracy, and so forth.

But there's always a need for new words, sometimes for entertainment purposes.
Why not turdocrat or turdocracy?  Or maybe the more proper terms are coprocrat and coprocracy?

Or could we speak of Fox News as a blondocracy now?

Are the two major political parties in fact coulrocracys? The theme song for both should be "Send in the Clowns."

Is this any worse than our 40-year affair with the -gate suffix since Watergate?  That sick puppy is long overdue euthanasia.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Free Range Children

I guess it's a universal fact of society that people and groups have their own views about how to rear children as well as the long-standing opinions on politics and how many cats should a person be allowed to keep. Anyway, it seems that the presently common parental styles of attachment parenting and helicopter parenting have a subversive opposite: the concept of free range children.

Basically, the term "free range children refers to children who are allowed to roam around the neighborhood or even town without immediate supervision. The desirability of this concept seems to be founded in books like Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. To be sure, nineteenth-century river towns probably had fewer perils than large cities do today. Also, there was less widespread awareness of those possible threats. Some parents told their children to beware of the boogerman (or bogeyman). Was this term a euphemism for a child molester or killer?

Some proponents of free-range parenting occasionally elicit visits from Child Protective Services because others see her or his style to be neglectful of their children. One set of parents got called out because they allowed their eight year old daughter go on the subway unaccompanied. In response, the free-range children parenting advocates have organized free-range play groups, free-range playgrounds, and free-range Sunday School classes.

Organized free-range groups: is that an oxymoron?

Anyway, I was told when I was young that I could ride my bike anywhere in Lakeview (in big, bad New Orleans) up to the railroad underpass and Larry's Homedale Inn. Alas, Tad Gormley Stadium was not in that area, but the Mardi Gras Fountain, Harrison Avenue, and Rockery Inn were. We once put detergent in the fountain!  I made it into adulthood.

Needless to say, the French Quarter and the Central Business District were far away.

The point is, peoples' ideas about proper parenting change, sometimes this is related to the real-life situations that children have to be in. Parents should understand the child's neighborhood. And so should nosy bystanders.