Friday, December 31, 2010

Bras and Panties as Morale Boosters

I will admit to having bought a particularly sexy and filmy bra and panties set that I wear occasionally under my work clothes. These are intended for no one's eyes other than my own; it strangely makes me feel good and wicked about myself under my junior professor suit in which I try to pass for the real thing.

Interestingly, a recent issue of Shop Smart Magazine touched on this particular topic: Among the findings reported in the January issue ( is that the typical woman above age 18 has about 21 pairs of panties.  Also, 47% of women feel sexier and more confident while wearing a nice set of panties.
That's an easy psychological boost!


•27% say their mood is affected by wearing an ill-fitting or unattractive pair of undies.

•10% of women own 35 or more pairs.

65% buy neural colors, with white being the most popular, followed by black and beige.

•Overall, 46% of women say briefs are the style they wear the most often. But women age 18-34 are more likely to wear the bikini style.

•56% of women fold their panties; 27% just toss them in the drawer.

•1 in 10 women admit that they will venture out of the house without underwear.

•Half of women have complaints about the way their underwear fit, with "wedgies" (30%) topping that list, followed by "doesn't lay flat under clothes" (19%) and "not enough coverage in the rear" (14%).

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Al Gator Visits the State Employment Office

Caseworker: "Good morning, Mr. Gator."

Al Gator: "Morning, Ma'am."

Caseworker: "I've been looking over your application for employment. First of all, what's your complete name?"

Al Gator: "Ma'am, do we have to go there?"

Caseworker: "Yes, Mr. Gator. We need that to have everything in order; and also because you need a Social Security number. Your FULL name is?"

Al Gator: "Alvin. Alvin, er. Alvin, er, er, er . . . . Hippolyte." [Even green saurians can blush.]

Caseworker: [suppresses giggle] "Okay, now, that wasn't so bad. Now let's see. You are indeed going to be difficult one to place; but I'll take this as a challenge since you obviously have made an effort to obtain employment." [Glances significantly at spit-shined shoes and Brooks Brother suit.]

"You have no education. That makes it hard. You declare that you can remain motionless for hours. You list your skills as being able to eat anything, laying around a pond while surrounded by slime, being able to drink a lot, and not be easily bored. You further assert that you have a strong jaw, and will swallow anything in the line of duty. Hmmm . . . . those are certainly skills; but they have a limited marketability. You report no experience with manual labor.

Al Gator: "No, but I knew his brother and sister, Miguel and Rosita."

Caseworker: "We might have a misconnection here. I urge you to be serious! The workplace is serious, and you have to be prompt and come reliably. Somehow, I don't see you in construction, or in office work, or in sales. Uh, you're a tough one!

"I know! This is the right job for you! You can be a lobbyist at the State Capital."

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays

I hope that this holiday season, in whatever fashion you celebrate it, will be in occasion for peace, joy, love, and hope.  I love you; and thanks for joining me in this blog occasionally.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My First Vocational Choice

Ahh, to consider those earnest, tried-and-true high school essay or speech topics: How I Spent My Summer, My Philosophy of Life, My Choice of Vocation in Life. The last one is particularly one that a student should choose with care for the paper or speech. The rule of thumb is: present yourself as idealistic, to assauge the Ya-Ya Sisterhood and Da Good Sistahs!. Saying that you want to be a doctor or nurse or social worker are good ones. Proposing that you want to be a lawyer is iffy, since the Learned Counselors often have slimy reputations and hang out with unsavory types like criminals and pols. Of course, if you say that you have a vocation to be a nun, then fate will smile on you for the remainder of your high school career. This can be parlayed into many excuses and out-of-room slips; and, as long as you do not appear to be boy-crazy or immodest, out of a lot of grief. An engineer? Well, that's not entirely lady-like; but Chem. E's or Pet. E's draw about 45 K when they leave the starting gate (thus Dear Ole Dads like that) and you get excused for a lot of bad taste in dress.

Did I go the safe route? No. Instead, I wrote that I would like to be a trophy wife. I was sent to three days' detention for having a 'bad attitude.' I thought that was standard equipment.

Later on, my poor mother got a phone call from the head nun. I overheard her explaining the difference between a trophy wife and a kept woman. Go figure.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Loaded Fruitcakes

Thud! Thud! Thud! The dreadful sound of machinery putting together fruitcake slabs assaulted the tender ears of Sakura, recently appointed as the Fruitcake Fairy by the Boss Fairy who found her deficient in more critical assignments of inducing sleep, hiding socks, and turning wine. She despaired, "Waaaaa! I should have applied myself in fairy school and more diligently performed my duties. Now I'm in this dead-end job until I'm eligible for my pension. And considering my salary, I will have to live under the bridge with the trolls!"

But then a glimmer of hope presented itself. Sakura remembered how humans loved alcohol so much; and wondered if she could, er, enhance the product a tad. This was just an idea until she was hanging out in Pepito's Lounge for relaxation, to get over her dispiritedness. There she met Bob, a guy who chatted her up. He seemed unprepossessing, and she first thought, "Oh great! Time to get hit on by another third-class loser!"

But her pessimism (and sheer snobbishness) was unfounded. It turned out that Bob was a Chem. E. major from L.S.U. and a wheeler-dealer on the side. Plus he had gorgeous blue eyes. They turned out to have a lot in common! Together, they found a way of walking on the wild side for fun and profit.

You see, Bob found an easy, inexpensive way of producing a supreme cognac; and melded it into the fruit cakes on stock. Sakura applied her marketing skills and knowledge of the customers. She designed provocative labels which attested to their strength of the cognac-laced fruitcakes, rating them as 100% octane V.S.O.P. and all of that.

Naturally, they had the usual market to draw on: the L.S.U. frat houses, the Acadian whiskey bars, the drive-in daiquiri stands, the New Orleans gin mills. And their business did tolerably well. But Sakura then discovered an unexpected outlet: The aristocratic old lady trade in Uptown New Orleans.

Now you must remember that these ladies are the upholders of severe community standards. While they like a libation now and then, they possessed a sentiment that drinking alcohol in mid-afternoon was just not done; it was not genteel, you know. Drinking before 8 P.M. implied that all was not right in the family; it was seen as overtly self-indulgent.

But what could be more harmless than an afternoon coffee and tea party with a fruitcake snack? Anyway, Sakura sold one to a hostess and promised to act as a server at the party. The fruitcake part of the party was a success: the first one ended with the entirety of the fruitcake consumed, and subsequent tea parties required more and more fruitcakes.

Sakura and Bob worked out a system of buying the fruitcakes and ingredients wholesale, and sold the "improved versions" at a 400% markup. The money started to roll in.

As one satisfied customer put it, "I never knew afternoon tea parties could be so fun."

Months went by, and things were going well. However, eventually, things began to come unraveled. The New Orleans Police Department's Vice Squad formed a Fruitcake Division, and there was several officers that worked full-time to suppress the illicit fruitcake trade. Fortunately for our heroes, they diversified their holdings, and vacated the business.

Bob is presently a casino kingpin on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Sakura spends the day lounging around the swimming pool in a bikini and manages their portfolio. She occasionally drafts a report to the Fairy Office that the fruitcake trade is doing okay, but tries to keep a low profile. Things are going well; don't fix what ain't broken.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Louisiana will always be my home.  I miss it more during the holidays, and always look forward to the trip to New Orleans. 

Friday, December 3, 2010

They Wear Shorter Skirts in the North of the U.K.

An article in that fine paper, Daily Mail, reported that women who lived in the north of the U.K. tend to wear shorter skirts, despite the colder weather.

To quote the article:

"A cold spell gripping Britain might seem like a reason to wrap up warm.

But it seems that women in the North and Scotland haven't been affected by the freezing temperatures.
Researchers have found that like temperatures which have plunged to -17c, mini skirts in the area are the shortest in the country.

Northern lasses wear skirts that are on average 17cm shorter than girls in the south.

Debenhams found that the average skirt length in Edinburgh is just 30cm. In Glasgow and Preston it is 32cm and in Liverpool women's skirts are on average 33cm long.

The study also found further south in the country the skirts become longer with girls in Bournemouth wearing skirts 47cm long."

Read more:
Here's specific data:
1.Edinburgh 30cm

2.Preston/Glasgow 32cm

4.Liverpool 33cm

5.Newcastle/Blackpool 34cm

7.Manchester 36cm

8.Norwich 42cm

9.Reading 44cm

10.Cantebury/Southampton 46cm

12.Bournemouth 47cm

I have some questions:

1.  What is the length of girls' skirts in Aberdeen, the northernmost city in Scotland?

2.  Why have the researchers ignored the role of stockings, pantyhose, leggings, or even long johns in providing warmth to the legs?

And an observation:

This sort of thing has a precedent in the history of psychology. Sir Francis Galton empirically determined a "beauty map" of Britain:

"I may here speak of some attempts by myself, to obtain materials for a 'Beauty Map" of the British Isles. Whenever I have occasion to classify the persons I meet into three classes, "good, medium, bad," I use a needle mounted as a pricker, wherewith to prick holes, unseen, in a piece of paper, torn rudely into a cross with a long leg. I use its upper end for "good", the cross arm for "medium," the lower end for "bad." The prick-holes keep distinct, and are easily read off at leisure. The object, place, and date are written on the paper. I used this plan for my beauty data, classifying the girls I passed in streets or elsewhere as attractive, indifferent, or repellent. Of course this was a purely individual estimate, but it was consistent, judging from the conformity of different attempts in the same population. I found London to rank highest for beauty: Aberdeen lowest.

Sir Francis Galton "Memories of My Life", p 315

Needless to say, this would have gone over like a lead balloon today!

Maybe some obsessive-compulsive person could do a similar map of the United States. And empirically determine the validity of the Michigan girls jokes.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Special Days for December

December 1 -- Complain About Television Day

December 2 -- Sing Out of Tune Tuesday

December 3 -- Hello Kitty Appreciation Day

December 4 -- Wear Slippers to Work Day

December 5 -- Act Like Everything's Okay Day

December 6 -- Love Mo Rocca Day

December 7 -- Wear Bowling Shoes to Church Day

December 8 -- Catch the Elusive Butterfly of Love and Pull Its Wings Off Day

December 9 -- Feast of the Transformed Bathroom

December 10 -- Take Your Dog to Lunch Day

December 11 -- The Muffler King is crowned today.

December 12 -- Madonna Will Finally Justify Her Love, But No One Cares

December 13 -- International Navel Review

December 14 -- What the Heck; Bring Back Daylight Savings Time Day

December 15 -- Eat More Beans Day

December 16 -- Be Glad You're Not Paris Hilton Day

December 17 -- Nag the Cows Day

December 18 -- Rescind Arkansas Statehood Day

December 19 -- Oops, Britney Did It Again Day

December 20 -- Annual PMS Spirit Day

December 21 -- Nutria Appreciation Day

December 22 -- Barista Appreciation Day

December 23 -- Annual Belch-in

December 24 -- Last Minute Shopping Rush

December 25 -- You Must Eat the Yams with Meringue Day!

December 26 -- National Collective Headache Day

December 27 -- Sleep Late Just Because Day: Don't Ask!

December 28 -- Hissy Fit Day

December 29 -- Midwinter Try On Your Swimsuit Day: Prozac Moment

December 30 -- Festival of Darkness

December 31 -- Short-term Resolution Day

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Dee-Doh, Heather, and I at the Winter Formal

Strictly speaking, this did not happen at a prom, so I can't put it there; but it's one of those war stories from the wild side of life.

My friend Dee-Doh, with whom we have a long-term Platonic relationship and fishing partnership, told Heather and I of his dilemma: he had pledged at a fraternity at LSU that was one of the more socially promient ones, and he was perceived by many of the active members as 'the pledge most likely to wash out." This saddened us, as Dee-Doh was a real good guy but had, shall we say, some strong nerd tendencies. (Girls that don't appreciate nerds just don't know where it's at, ya know . . . .) Anyway, Dee-Doh was a good guy if you take the trouble to know him. He occasionally trouble shoots our computers, by the way.

The occasion that he had his strongest fear regarding was the fraternity's Winter Formal. Now this was a first-class affair, and all members were to show up with as spectacular a date as possible, dress in a suit or other conventional clothing, and really put on the ol' dog, if you know what I mean. To boot it was to consign oneself to outward bound track status: getting the twin black balls and eternal banishment from the halls of sophistication and influence. (Pardon my irony.)

The problem is, he was a lowly LSU freshman, and had a prob in getting someone to go with him. (He did not present a formidable appearance.) What to do?

Well, fortunately, this occasion was in New Orleans. That made things possible, despite our curfews. We both volunteered to go with him: decked out or tarted up or however you might call it. Ahh, we went the route: borrowing our older sisters' most daring fashions (with technical augmentation), drop-dead shoes, done-up hair, as sophisticated at our 17-year-old selves could pull it off. Let me put it this way, both of us tried to leave our houses with Dee-Doh before parental scrutiny happened to compel us to moderation. Actually, Mom understood the situation and employed her makeup and costume skills to further the farce. I went as his exotic French girlfriend, using my Cajun French to a limited degree to seem real.

She did say, "Don't let Maw-Maw see you looking like that!"

And, of course, the first thing not to do is to call him "Dee-Doh."

The moment of our entrance at the House was memorable. Each of us, on either side of Dee-Doh, clinging to his arm like he was a movie star. Heather was truly spectacular: a lite Acadian version of Laetitia Casta, sure to turn heads. I went along as the spare. Furthermore, we hung on him consistently for the evening, gazing fondly at him with cow eyes and sighed. His frat brothers didn't know what to make of us! Or him, for that matter! They had no idea that the three of us were cosmically pulling their legs!

The word got around, so we heard, that Dee-Doh had two girl friends from New Orleans and they habitually partied together. The word was out that they were sophisticated heiresses who attend Loyola or Eurotrash sophisticates, or who-knows-what. It was kinda nice to be one of those 'mystery ladies.' In fact we had not yet walked across the h.s. stage and were thus not yet, in today's terminology, 'rising college freshmen.'

That kind of amazes me. Peoples' perceptions change with time; in this case, in our favors. Imagine us pulling this off.

By the way, Dee-Doh was eventually initiated as an active, with no black balls.

And, apparently months later, he had no problems with the blue variety, either.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


In getting oriented to living in North Carolina, I did my readings about my new home: its flora and fauna, its history, its culture, and so on. It was all very informative. In a book on the humor of North Carolina, I found this intriguing passage:

William Byrd II in his book "History of the Dividing Line," described North Carolinians as being extremely lazy:

"Surely there is no place in the World where the Inhabitants live with less Labour than in N Carolina. It approaches nearer to the Description of Lubberland than any other, by the great felicity of the Climate, the easiness of raising Provisions, and the Slothfulness of the People. Indian Corn is of so great increase, that a little Pains will Subsist a very large Family with Bread, and then they may have meat without any pains at all, by the Help of the Low Grounds, and the great Variety of Mast that grows on the High-land. The Men, for their Parts, just like the Indians, impose all the Work upon the poor Women. They make their Wives rise out of their Beds early in the Morning, at the same time that they lye and Snore, till the Sun has run one third of his course, and disperst all the unwholesome Damps. Then, after Stretching and Yawning for half an Hour, they light their Pipes, and, under the Protection of a cloud of Smoak, venture out into the open Air; tho', if it happens to be never so little cold, they quickly return Shivering into the Chimney corner. When the weather is mild, they stand leaning with both their arms upon the corn-field fence, and gravely consider whether they had best go and take a Small Heat at the Hough: but generally find reasons to put it off till another time. Thus they loiter away their Lives, like Solomon's Sluggard, with their Arms across, and at the Winding up of the Year Scarcely have Bread to Eat. To speak the Truth, tis a thorough Aversion to Labor that makes People file off to N Carolina, where Plenty and a Warm Sun confirm them in their Disposition to Laziness for their whole Lives." -- William Byrd II

This amazed me. Were they really lazy, or was it a trait ascribed to them by some jealous outsider? Some of the locals view Virginians as often full of themselves; and it's hard to see William Byrd II as the jealous type. A sexual predator, perhaps, if you read his autobiography. No, I won't go into details about this guy . . . . But as to the allegedly laziness? I saw no present-day evidence for this. And, since laziness is partly due to genetics and the gene pool is not that different now as compared to then, I think that the Tarheels Byrd saw were normal in industriousness. And I can personally attest to the early morning traffic numbers: those North Carolinians were not late-risers. So why the calumny? My take on it is that the Tarheels trounced the Cavaliers or the Hokies in basketball! . . . . Yes, there's always a simple explanation for things.

[My approximation to UNC Blue. color used for this entry.]

Saturday, November 20, 2010

2010 Is the Year of the Tiger

According to the Chinese Zodiac, most of this year 2010 is the Year of a Golden Tiger.  The Year of the Tiger began on February 14, 2010 and will end on February 2, 2011.

The Tiger is a sign of courage. Let us rejoice, be happy, and enjoy the full gusto of living.  Be kind to others, and be patient with both yourself and others.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Some Psychology Slang

Binet (or WISC) jockey -- A psychometrician who primarily administers tests of general ability, AKA intelligence tests.

bra-size IQs -- Levels of general ability (intelligence) that are way below average; literally, IQ scores between 32 and 40, the typical range of bra sizes excluding cup size.
FLK -- This stands for 'funny-looking kid;' someone who has facial characteristics that suggest retardation.

LOBNH -- This is an acronym standing for "Lights On, But Nobody Home." Used by some medical personnel to refer to mentally challenged persons.

PITA syndrome -- This refers to a person consistently being a pain in the ass to other people. This term is occasionally used by psychologists to refer to a pattern of being consistently annoying or unpleasant.

room-temp IQs -- A slang term used by psychology majors to refer to those levels of cognitive ability that are borderline, but not quite low enough to be considered mentally retarded. Specifically, this refers to those in the 70-80 range.

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Real Classy Logo

I read in the Scottish Sun that there is a school for Scottish guys called Pick Up Artists Training; a class allegedly in seduction techniques.  Now I think that guys should be motivated by more than simply getting a girl into bed, but learning to open doors to a new relationship.  Let's face it: the sex is a draw.  (I'll admit trying my best to look at least reasonably presentable; and, hopefully, discreetly sexy.)  And some guys are kind of deficient in the interpersonal relationships skills, so they might profit from learning skills such as how to smile, use proper body language, fashion and voice tonality before trying these in more natural settings.

But here's the school's logo:

Really classy.  Why do I think that social skills are not heavily emphasized?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Did MSNBC Have a Short-Term Attack of Journalistic Integrity?

I suppose you may have read about l'affaire Olbermann by now.  The story is that political pundit and attack dog Keith Olbermann was outed as having contributed to three Democratic political candidates, much against MSNBC's rules, by the way.  This garnered him an indefinite suspension by MSNBC boss Phill Griffith.

Well, der uberboss had a change of heart.  Olbermann's suspension was reduced to three days, and that charmer will return to television tomorrow.  Hmmm . . . . this is kind of like being suspended for cutting classes; I garnered one of similar length for the same reason.

But at least he didn't get the standard one-day suspension for having too short a skirt, like in my high school.  No one really wants to look at Olbermann's legs!

Back to MSNBC and their rules.  Apparently they had a short-lived attack of journalistic integrity, about like FoxNews and CNN get from time to time.  But any good internist will tell you that if you take two aspirins and get some bed rest, it will get better.

When I was in high school, I learned that there was one set of rules for the football players and cheerleaders, and another set for everyone else.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Lingerie Color and Politics

While eating my Rice Krispies, and being thoroughly annoyed by their snapping, crackling, and popping, I was watching television. Just a typical Monday morning activity. And actually paying attention to the ads while doing so. Bad moment in time.

One ad convinced me that the Politicization of Darned Near Everything has gone even further than I had suspected. An enterprising lingerie manufacturer is now advertising Politically Relevant Lingerie. Here's a report from a fashion expert on television:

"Are you fully committed to your principles? Let your lingerie speak for you! We feature our bra and panty sets in various colors and styles, depending on your specific philosophy or party affiliation. Now you can be totally unequivocal, even if you are the only one that knows about it. If you are truly liberal and oriented towards progress, then you should select our Knee-Jerk Liberal Blue intimate apparel. If you avow conservatism, then Hidebound Doctrinaire Conservative Red bras and panties are your logical choice for foundation garments. Persons who advocate environmental causes might opt for Tree-Hugger Green undies, although a nice jungle camouflage might do on those more informal occasions. Anarchists should, of course, adopt the Radical Black set as their choice. Neutral White is for the ininvolved, or for those who deem partisanism to be suspect. White allows them to as uncommited as they so desire, even on election day!

Of course, the baby blue, pink, and pastel green styles may be opted instead by those who are merely tenative in their commitments. Floral or bamboo would serve the eccentrically-oriented fashionistas. Mauve is for the nonconformists, since it has some aspects of redness and blueness, but not enough to please either political party.

You might wonder about the implications of the Traditional Tacky red with black filigree lace styles so favored by overly actively imaginative boyfriends and husbands. The rare anarchistic conservative might wear these with panache; however, these will be automatically approved for exchange into a more color-appropriate style for those inappropriately color matched. Also, these insensitive males should have their consciousness raised as to the hidden messages behind color choice.

Naturally, in the true spirit of multipartisanism, each of the possibilities of styling will be available in all of the colors. It is expected though, that high-riding blue thongs will be best sellers in honor of the whaling industry of New England.

It is anticipated that the selection of these fashions statements will peak every four years. Otherwise, the perennial best-selling NASCAR lingerie is expected to dominate interest at other times.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Opposite Sex Friends or Platonic Friends

We have a terminological gap in referring to relationships.  An example is the notion of boyfriend (or girlfriend).  Basically, as we use this term in the USA, it refers to a person of the opposite sex in which there is a romantic component.  But what about those relationships in which two people happen to be of opposite sexes, but there is mutually no romantic relationship?

Some people refer to a "friend date" -- one in which a man and a woman (or bay and girl) go out together and do date-like activities, but in which there is no romantic or sexual component.  This would be something that you might do with your opposite sex friend.

It's interesting that there is the slang expression "friend with benefits" to refer to a friend that one engages in sex with; and even "friend with minor benefits'; i.e. -- non-coital sex.  But there is nothing to refer to a relationship that is strictly platonic.

Maybe Platonic friends?

Monday, November 1, 2010

eViL pOp TaRt Strips to Vote

I confess -- after reticence on the matter -- I transgressed in my new-found zeal to be a fully-functioning citizen of this Republic.  To make the matter worse, the choices were abysmal!  Whoever you voted for made you wonder if it was a matter for confession or special education classes.  Anyway, without going into the particulars of my politics, let me tell my story.

I was supporting one of the morons running for office; and to declare to all and sundry (like a typical 19-year-old), I wore a t-shirt proclaiming that fact.  Okay, I saw drumming up support for my candidate as being a bonus in addition to a free shirt that could be worn in the future for ironic reasons.

However, I did not reckon with the Louisiana state election law forbidding electioneering.

It was toward the end of Election Day, and the polls were due to close.  There was still a lot of people lined up; but no problem: they could vote as long as they joined the line before closing.  One of the poll observers representing the opposed candidate to mine challenged my presence as long as a wore the offending t-shirt, and declared that I would have to leave and come back not electioneering.

The reality was this: It was five minutes before the poll was due to close, and my home was ten minutes' away.  If I went home and changed, I could not get back in before closing.  I pleaded, but no luck.

In desperation,  I removed my tee, and voted minimally decent in my bra!

The remaining twenty minutes' worth of as-yet-to-vote citizens cheered at my commitment to suffrage, and many of them bumped knuckles with me while I tried to have my arms cover myself as demurely as I could.  I decided that I should dial my feistiness a few notches in the future.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Grit Lit

Grit Lit --  This is a slang expression used in some colleges or universities to refer to Southern Literature.  William Faulkner is most assuredly covered in this type of English course.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The First American Revolution

It didn't happen in the English-speaking colonies; but in New Orleans.

During the eighteenth century, the French established settlements in the Mississippi valley, including present-day New Orleans, Natchez, Biloxi, Mobile, and Natichotches. However, unlike their successful colonies in Canada and Haiti, French Louisiana was undersettled, the focus of some dubious financial ventures, and had problems with the local Indians.  Let's face it: the climate was so unlike what Europeans were used to!  To them, it sucked! The Indian troubles stood out in high relief with the massacre of the settlers at Fort Rosalie, near present-day Natchez.

New Orleans had about 7000 colonists who were a rough and scruffy lot but strangely loyal to France despite consistent neglect.  Some did a lot of smuggling.  Also, a lot of Acadian settlers were dispossessed from Nova Scotia by the British and they settled in Louisiana.  These were the ancestors of the present-day Cajuns (and moi!) 

In the secret Treaty of Fontainebleau of 1762, France ceded the colony of Louisiana to Spain.  In turn, Spain joined France's side in the Seven Years'  (This was called the French and Indian War in U.S. history.)  As part of the Treaty of Paris at the end of the war, France had to give up its holdings in North America, meaning Canada.  That's what happens when you lose.  They had just given New Orleans and Louisiana away to Spain just the year before through that secret treaty.  Things moved slowly, and nobody told the Louisiana colonists anything about this until the Spanish governor Don Antonio de Ulloa arrived in 1766.  Taa-daa!

Ulloa did not hit it off with the colonists very well at all.  He didn't speak French.  He lived outside of the city. After a few months of disagreements, approximately 600 New Orleans citizens mounted the first New World revolution against a European government.  Among those involved were the original French settlers, the Acadians (French-speaking immigrants from Canada), and German immigrants who had settled along the Mississippi River. By November 1, Don Antonio Ulloa had occuped a Spanish ship for safety and later escaped to Cuba. His three aides were taken prisoner by the rebels.

The Louisianans petitioned King Louis XV to reconsider his having ceded Louisiana to Spain, but that worthless twit did nothing. [In my opinion, the French Revolution occurred thirty years too late.]

Ulloa passed from the scene. He was a naval officer and a scientist. He is credited with having discovered the element platinum. He was also an astronomer who had one of the craters of the moon is named after him. He was honored on a postage stamp many years later, and he had a ship named after him.

His Majesty Carlos III of Spain was seriously ticked off by this deed of his new subjects and tried to make an example out of them.  He sent an army of approximately 2,600 hired goons (mercenaries) to New Orleans to re-take the city.  The army was led by Don Alexander O’Reilly, an Irishman in the service of Spain. He later earned the nickname “Bloody O’Reilly” after he sent all of the leaders of the revolutionaries before the firing squad.  The bastard.

Louisiana remained in Spanish hands until it was receded to France in 1802.  France then turned around and sold the works to the United States in the Louisiana Purchase.  Tom Jefferson picked up a winner.

In 1815 the Louisianans fought with American troops at the Battle of New Orleans.

This was a paradox, in a way: the most one-sided American victory was won over an entirely English-speaking army by an American army that mostly did not speak English.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Mistress Wanda, Dominatrix for the Modern Age

My favorite television news reporter has apparently gone into the seamier side of journalism:

"This is Al Gautreaux, reporter from Action News, offering the dish on some of the latest trends in the underworld.  Tonight's topic is Mistress Wanda, self-styled Dominatrix for the Modern Age.  So, Mistress Wanda, what makes your approach to dominance different that causes yourself to be so billed?"

The camera panned on a formidable woman, dressed in a pink-and-black guepierre,  jodhpurs, mid-thigh length boots and carrying a riding crop.

"Thank you for asking, Mr. Gautreaux.  In my analysis of the marketing I have discovered that some of the old discipline techniques have lost their sting.  This is unfortunate; however, the modern successful businesswoman must adapt to the times.  Let me ask you, have you been a naughty boy?"

"Er, yes, Mistress Wanda.  I have on occasion."


Reporter Al expected a taste of the riding crop.  However, instead he heard,

"Give me your credit card."

Al, thoroughly cowed, complied.  Mistress Wanda promptly cut the card in half.

"Oh, the pain: it is too much."


"Yes, Mistress."


"Oh, please, Mistress Wanda.  Not that!"


Al did and Mistress Wanda smashed it with a hammer; giving him some cuts with the riding crop for good measure.

So poor Reporter Al Gautreaux got more than he bargained for with this interview.  However, he withheld some of the things he had done.  He reckoned that it would have cost him his iPad or laptop.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Fairies as Trainees

Sakura, Shinobu, and Mizuki had been laid off for economic reasons, but were able to get trainee positions as fairies so they would be ready when jobs opened up. 

Although many fairies were rendered unemployed lately, the government, in its wisdom, launched a new program to train new fairies to deal with the anticipated shortage in the sweet bye-end-bye.  Sakura, Shinobu, and Mizuki were chosen.

They underwent a two-week orientation program, in which they viewed movies and heard lectures describing the program and their place in it.  They were both issued 500-page manuals, and were told that they would be tested on it at the end of the course. 

They were taught the Fairies Song, and gave rah-rah cheers.  No rah-rah skirts though: they were thought not suitable for government service. 

They were issued training bras according to governmental regulations.

And informed that the working day begins at 7:00 and ends at 4:00.  No more than a half-hour for lunch; and two short coffee breaks of a half-hour each.  No deviation from government regs permitted.

Finally, they were given their job titles: they were Toilet Paper Fairies Third Class.  Specifically, they were to organize mischief regarding toilet paper; including:

a.  Stealing toilet paper from restrooms;
b.  Re-positioning the toilet paper so that it goes under the top;
c.  "Rolling" houses and trees with T-P.

Our trainees performed their duties with distinction.  Governmental work triumphs.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Etiquette at Canine Altercations

One of the few lapses of modern etiquette books is that they uniformly fail to address the compelling subtleties of attendance at canine altercations, referred to by the brutish as "dogfights." This is reflected in the popular expression, "dressed like he was going to a dogfight." In fact, there are things that the well-bred sophisticate should consider on these festive occasions.

One of those things is proper dress. In the summer months, especially if the occasion is held in warm southern barns, a light-colored sun dress and pumps is very appropriate. A flowered straw hat and white gloves would certainly be in order during the height of the summer season. Wearing stockings always marks a lady of class. Anyone who wears leopard-patterned clothing should be assigned to the nosebleed section of the arena. Darker, more substantial clothing is acceptable during the fall. The winter season is only for tourists and fanatics: the social-conscious are not seen at that time.

Gentlemen, of course, should comport themselves at all times in a gentlemanly manner. While a coat and tie is always in order, modern trends make it permissible for men to attend these functions while wearing a short-sleeved buttoned shirt and a tie if the temperature is warm. Hats should be worn only if the occasion is out of doors, and only the rude fail to tip theirs to the ladies and to the canines. Remember also the dictum first pronounced by Clementine Rousseau, "He who expects to rate as a gentleman should not expectorate on the floor."

Special care to appearance should be given to Opening Night in early March, when evening wear is mandatory. It is good practice to make arrangements with your hairdresser several months in advance so that you will look your best before the press cameras. Understatement in jewelry is preferred. Gentlemen may wear business suits if they choose. Do tip the valet who parks your car, proceed with your escort on the red carpet, and smile at the photographers. You may be interviewed by Joan and Melissa. Plan something sophisticated to say for that eventuality.

Decorum should be observed at all times. If the dog you are wagering on performs particularly well, then you might express your pleasure with polite applause. Dignified audience members should refrain from shouting imprecations at referees or other specators, declaring that poorly-performing canines should go to the pound, or making rude gestures at each other.

Of course, audience members should arrive early for the occasion, out of consideration for the sensibilities of the dogs. Greet people that you know with hugs and air kisses. Shake hands with all in your immediate vicinity.

Every evening of dog fighting should begin with three songs: The National Anthem, "You Are My Sunshine," and "Who Let the Dogs Out." Audience members are to stand politely and sing if they know the words to the song.

It is considered ungenteel to bring in food or drink to these occasions, especially since there is an open bar and hors de ouvres during intermission while the string quartet plays. This is an occasion for 'working the room.' renewing acquaintances, and making polite conversation. Particularly recommended is a dry white wine in a long-stemmed glass.

It's up to all of us to keep up the standards that have served well the sport of canine altercations.

Friday, October 15, 2010

In Which I Go to Confession

The Sacrament of Reconciliation, which the Catholic Church advocates, is a rite in which the miscreant confesses his or her sins to a priest.  It can be done in the confessional (old-style way) or in acReconciliation room (new way).  Suffice to say, most people opt for the old way: to be spared eye-to-eye contact.  I know not what the padres prefer.

Anyway, I remember the occasion in which I, or similies to me, dressed in white blouses, brown pleated skirts, and brown-and-white saddle oxfords would go en masse, as follows:

"Bless me Father, for I have sinned.  It has been three months since my last confession.  I gossiped a lot, and, er, I let Tommy get to second base."

"Three Hail Marys, and play clolser to the bag when there's a runner on first."

See what I mean.

However, somewhat older me was in need of a little cheap therapy, so I went recently.

"Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.  It has been three years."  I confessed some more dramatic sins or follies, and then dropped the bomb:

"Father, I repeatedly used Wikipedia."

"You.  Used.  Wikipedia.  That is a mortal sin for graduate students.   I am astonished, and saddened.  Absolution from this kind of sin is reserved for the Bishop.  Therefore, you should wear sackcloth and ashes for a month, do the Penitential Psalms six times,and make a pilgrimage to some unfashionable Holy Place.  Maybe he will deign, eventually, to see you.."

I had this image of my kneeling in the snow, much like King Henry at Canossa.  Fortunately, I live in the Mid-Atlantic South.

This is a hazard of going to confession in a university town.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tip Jar or Feminist Statement?

When I worked as a caffeine goddess (barista), Several of us were interested in applying research principles in the workplace setting. This was, of course, just for the desire to increase the total amount of knowledge, there was no pecunitary interest on any of our parts!

Anyway, the counter had a tip jar; but being a coffee shop, much of the clientile did not feel any special immediacy to contribute in the form of tips, although the management clearly expected that part of our earnings would be covered with said tips.
Anyway, we had an experimental idea:  Specifically, would varying the type of container for tips influence the results?  Therefore, we tried a standard glass jar, a coffee cup, a go-cup with the local sports team's logo on it, a go-cup with a rival team's logo, and a tray.

Looking at the results, we compared the alternative types of contaners against the tip jar, considering that to be the base condition upon which comparisons could be made.  The following results were observed:

tip jar -- (Baseline condition)
                                            Percentage above tip jar:

coffee cup                                             +6%

go-cup with local team's logo                +27%
go-cup with rival team's logo                 -16%
tip tray                                                  -9%

Obvilously, using a local team's go-cup helps; and using the opposition's results in fewer tips.

While using the go-cup bearing the local team's logo significantly increased tipping, we decided in all frivolity to use one more condition: a bra as a tip container!  We each contributed the bra de jour on different days (depending on who was the cashier), but did not collect individual data by bra stimulus!

Anyway, when the bra was used as a tip container, tip amounts increased by 52% over the tip jar baseline!  Very clearly, customers were very willing to express their support of our efforts if this was the means to do so.

We did observe, somewhat to our surprise, that several customers would casually attempt to view the size of the bra.  They must be really data-driven!

Moreover, we assumed that our contributers would be mostly men.  However, we concluded that women also increased in their tip tempo as well.  We found out why later: Apparently some female tippers thought it was some sort of feminist statement!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Why It Would Be Neat To Be an Anime Girl

In general, it's great to be who we are. Well, mostly . . . . but we all have those days, don't we? I'll admit I have those, and then that's when I go into my fantasy mode and see myself as a anime or manga girl, like Lum, Sailor Moon, Beruche, Utena the Revolutionary Girl, the Goddess Belldandy, or Love Hina, to name a few.

Anime and manga are Japanese cartoon art forms: anime is animated; manga are cartoons in book form. There are different types; and they're intended for either children or adults. Anyway, here's some reasons why it might be a good idea to be an anime girl:

1. Anime and manga girls often have special powers that can be used in some situations, like being to fly, give zaks (shocks), do time travel, read peoples' minds, empathize with others, change the forms of substances, or grant wishes . Consider the ability to administer zaks (shocks) to people. That could serve as an effective customer persuasion tool when someone complains that the raspberry mocha latte is either not hot enough or too strong.

2. Also, you get to wear neat costumes. Fancy a tiger skin bikini? How about a rose-colored jump suit? Or a sailor suit? Or, even better, a blue metallic swim suit with matching boots? Or a goddess costume? Hey, in anime you get to wear cool threads. And:

3. Nobody acts very surprised that you're dressed in such a manner, however socially or thermally it may be inappropriate. Maybe it's because:

4. You look stunning, as you have a knockout figure, even without being hentai.  And no worries about diets, trips to the gym, padding, or other indignities.

5. Anime girls never get zits.  The words "Sailor Moon" and "zits" don't fit comfortably in the same sentence!

6. Anime girls don't retain water, either.

7. You never have a bad hair day.  Sure, your hair might be dark green or rose-colored, but it's always long and bouncy and cute and neatly in place.  Snarling does not happen in the world of anime.  Just as well, with female characters possessing supernatural powers.

8. You surely encounter a better grade of sushi.  I think.  Some of it that I've encountered can be pretty rough.

9. You get to drive neat vehicles: space craft, souped-up cars, motorbikes.  And they don't drip oil, like my car.  Also, you never get parking tickets or have to park far away from where you want to go.

10. The guys you meet are cool.  Well, mostly.  Maybe you should consider a James Bond movie for that type of fantasy.  Some of the anime guys can be kind of clueless (in a cute way, of course).

11. You have great personality traits: loyalty, sweetness, serenity, capacity to empathize.  These get you over most of the bumps in life.  And, for those that you can't, you can use your powers and give the opposition some moments to reconsider the error of their ways.

12. You can wax philosophical.  And people will listen to you.  Nobody gives grief to a chick that can literally shock you.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Toilet Paper as an Indicator of Personality

Sometimes we just give ourselves away without intending to. This is the idea behind the projective techniques; as the psychoanalytically-inclined individuals have suggested, whether it's through responses to inkblots or making up stories to pictures, or performance on drawing tasks. In each case, if there's ambiguity, the personality may be injected into a person's responses. It impressed me lately that how people respond to and use toilet paper (TP) may be one of these projective occasions. Consider: this necessary product is marketed in a number of forms: one-ply, two-ply, colored, patterned, and so forth. Also, some people have definite views of how the paper in roll form is to be displayed. Then, toilet paper (TP) has been pressed into service as a nocturnal decorative item, as a fashion accessory, as a simple wipe, as well as in other ways. If psychologists are to get a complete understanding of homo sapiens, including discovering that in some cases we are sapiens, it is necessary to consider these finer points as well. Very clearly, toilet paper constitutes a type of adaptation: whether based on natural selection or social progress has not been fully delineated.

Undoubtedly, future research will reveal this. However, I think that the cause of the assessment of personality through personal TP use might be furthered by specific hypotheses. Accordingly, I offer the following:

1) Preference for one-ply, institutional stock TP should be associated with a practical, no-nonsense outlook that is somewhat penurious and does not engage in self-indulgence. Therefore, the one-ply users tend to be hurried, insensitive to nuances, and are not likely to indulge in long bubble baths. Those who select the coarsest institutional tissues would have worn hair shirts during lent and are probably very inclined to engage in excessive exercise.

2) Two-ply users are comfort lovers who indulge themselves. Two-ply women should favor spa treatments, pretty lingerie, Sephora, chocolate, and bunny slippers.

3) Users who employ only white TP paper may be cost-conscious; or they might be obsessed with matters of hygiene or even chastity. They are inclined to be introverted.

4) Colored TP users would tend to be narcissistic or artistic. Those who prefer their TP in bold colors should also tend to be extraverted.

5) Patterned TP users are high in openness to experience. Those who enjoy toilet paper with witty sayings are irreverend; while those whose legible TP has adages on it probably tend towards conservatism.

6) Users who stuff their bras with TP either either have anxieties regarding perceptions of their bodies, or they live in third-world countries where often there is a shortage of TP in public facilities.

7) We should address the "over-the-roll" versus "under-the-roll" issue. Those who express a strong preference for "over-the-roll" placement are conformists and are high in conscientiousness. The "under-the-roll" individuals may be feckless, radical, or even psychopathic. The people who have "no preference" may be high in agreeableness; or they are simply wishy-washy. P ersons who express very strong preferences in either direction are probably self-righteous habitu├ęs of MSNBC or FoxNews: they are not loath to express their loathsome opinions unbidden and are the primary source of chronic buttocks pain.

8) TP nocturnal decorators are individuals who are high both in extraversion and neuroticism, but low in agreeableness and conscientiousness. Police officers should be advised that this is an age-limited disorder.

Keep these hypotheses in mind: they can lead to a research career in personality research. Furthmore, any significant results are sure be be picked up widely by credulous mainstream print or televised sources, leading one to the exalted status of being a psychological pundit.

Hmmm . . . . I better get a sexy new lab coat to enhance my image before I start this research.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Types of Professors

The new student at a university is sure to confront a bewildering number of professors; and it might be useful to have an understanding of them as social categories. Obviously, there are the subjects or disciplines to categorize them on; but this is another way of looking at the members of this learned profession. I hope you will find this fair and useful; or at least amusing.

The Nonretired Retiree -- This one hasn't revised his notes in ten years. He drones through his classes, and provides an non-habit-forming alternative to Sominex. He rarely keeps office hours, and does the minimum academic work possible. His method of academic advising is to sign whatever you put in front of him. I had one of these once; he approved my taking Introduction to Pole Dancing and Elementary Old English. Does he sign blank checks as well?

The Maverick -- Loved by some graduate students, though he's dangerous to emulate. This is the (usually thirtyish) assistant professor who enjoys tweaking the sensibilities and sacred cattle of the dinosaurs and appearing nightly in the iconoclastic role.

The Dinosaurs -- Faculty members in the fifties; these are long-serving full professors. They have a vested interest in the status quo. They often perform well in the classroom, but are inclined to be superficial. Easy A's or B's.

The Slave-Drivers -- This churlish type exploits graduate students because they can. Some might even press them into being baby sitters for their brood. Strangely, women are especially likely to do this to female graduate students. It's as if their resentments of past mistreatments are translated into ensuring that the present generation of students will also be mistreated as they had been.

The Evangelists -- These are ones on a religious mission: to save the souls of their students. They begin the class with, "Have you heard? Jesus lives!" and end same with "Have a blessed day." Strangely enough, they are not found at mainstream Catholic or Protestant universities, but may find a niche in secular or fundamentalist institutions. Because of the hedonistic nature of 18-year-olds, they are in for a lot of disappointments.

The Standard Warhorses -- These are good; they regard teaching as a life's work and try their best to do it. They are bright, conscientious, and usually deliver well.

The Feminist Battleaxes -- Stocky middle-aged female Liberal Arts faculty members who seem to have a jihad against the Y chromosome. These throwbacks to an earlier time consider their natural enemies to be the Frustrated Jocks and the Sex Kittens. Do not appear to be confrontative, especially if you're a blonde student.

The Frustrated Jocks -- These are the darlings of the Athletic Department; the professors who will cut corners for athletes when needed and they never fail to miss a game. Look for the excessive sports memorabilia in their offices.

The Sex Kittens -- Comely female assistant professors who flaunt their sexiness indiscriminately to both students and fellow faculty members, often with risky d├ęcolletage. Usually, this helps obtain an associate professorship in otherwise all-male departments; but she is regarded more as a pet than a colleague until gravity becomes a factor.

The Untenured Mice -- These have not gotten tenured yet, and try to keep as low a profile as possible. They're generally unimaginative, and trod the middle-of-the-road path towards that lofty status. If washing the Dean's and Department Chair's cars would help them get tenure, they would be out with the Turtle Wax. Don't shout "Boo" around them. They're inclined to lose bladder control.

The Administrative Wanabees -- Dresses in a power suits; supports polite liberal causes. These have learned that the top salaries go to administrators and they want some too.

The Amorous Swains -- Female students should watch these fortyish guys. They can be distinguished by their with-it fashions and unusual interests. Rarely are they gropers; mostly they fancy themselves as smooth talkers. Self-delusional. Don't think that they want you to see their etchings!

The Lushes -- Often these are English teachers, perhaps because William Faulkner had been a well-known tippler also. They habitually cut their classes short; and are generally a waste of time. Don't emulate these! Your liver will be grateful.

The Eccentrics -- While these are generally good teachers, students with way, way, way too much time on their hands concoct rumors as to reason for the minor eccentricity. Those rumors of unrequited love or rock careers are as unlikely as mermaids in the Love Canal.

The Nitpickers -- These are the arcane detail mavens. They can be counted on to disgorge esoterica, whether bidden or not. They can be compared to Kirtland's warblers: little birds who nest only in Michigan jack pines. They domicile in major research universities.

The Media Darling -- These are individuals who may or may not be a big name at the local university; but who knows how to make sound bite zingers.

The Zeitgeist Surfers -- These people have catchy and possibly areas of research, and are often called on by media persons looking for an interesting article. One studied personality traits of strippers; another studied the sociology of NASCAR and did her research on the infield at races every other week in during racing season.

The Academic Politicians -- To them, it's the political machinations in any institution that interest them: often of the sociological or political scientist persuasion. They prefer the swinishness of academic politics to the polite politics in the real world. Only a few of these actually run for public office; but will be soundly trounced by the Democratic and Republican professionals.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

My Birthday

September 25th!

Thanks, Mom and Dad, for making all this possible!

(I won't embarass you by wearing a costume like this!)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

SHOULD Women Be Assholes?

In view of Tuesday's posting, I would like to say that women should not aspire to be assholes.  However, if any woman should, for whatever reasons she might have, desire to be one, then she should be permitted to be all the asshole that she wants to be.

In that same vien, if some man wants to be a bitch, then society should not stand in the way of his actualizing his full bitchiness.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Can Women Be Assholes?

This is one of those things -- in less-than-polite society we occasionally hear someone referred to as an asshole; this is not synonymous with rectum, and invariably that person is of the male sex.  Now I have given it some thought, and I wonder just why this is the case?

The interesting thing about these types of assholes is that they're successful in their actions, although annoying and provocative.  Tom Cruise played several characters with asshole traits; but especially Maverick from Top Gun.  Simply stated, guys like assholes, despite their label. 

Is this a quirk of language; and there are different terms used to apply to similarly-behaved people who just happen to be female?  If so, then what is the distaff equivalent to "asshole"?

Or maybe this is one of those cases in which anatomy is destiny.  For example, does possessing breasts inhibits one's capacity to perform in an asshole-like manner?  The scientist in me would suggest that we consult data when in doubt.  For example, it would be reasonable to assume that flat-chested women would be capable of assholedom.  In other words, we would expect a Power Law curve like this:

Bra Cup Size    Percent Assholes
      AA                  20
        A                   2
        B                   1
        C                   0
        D                   0
        DD                 0
        E                   0

Or maybe it's the extra X-chromosome.  If so, there would be no males with Kleinfelter's syndrome who are assholes.  (Persons who have Kleinfelter's syndrome are XXY males.)

A possible interpretation for this comes from cognitive psychology.  Specifically, certain features of the female anatomy serve as cognitive disqualifiers in categorizing a person in this manner.  One prominent possibility would be womanly breasts.  In other words, the mental processes of guys goes like this:

1)  This person is exhibiting annoying, asshole behavior.
2)  Whoops!  She has boobs.
3)  Therefore, this person cannot an asshole.

Actually, another possibility is that women's non-attainment into assholedom is simply a residual societal restriction against women left over from the bygone past.  If so, then achieving assholedom parity should be one of proper goals of feminism!  After all, maybe this is simply a lifestyle choice that few of us have considered, and one that have numerous rewards.