Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Tomboy Stage

Historically, at one time for some people, the pre-preteen girls posed a bit of unnecessary worry if they were slower than average in blossoming into young womanhood and persisted in engaging in behaviors that are deemed "nonfeminine."  A lot of what happens is determined by biology, and some by what is available for her at the time.  Fortunately, that reaction was largely a thing of the past, but not completely.

Research by developmental psychologists has indicated that being ahead in development as compared to one's age mate peers is usually advantageous to boys: these early-maturing boys tend to be stronger, faster, larger, and better able to compete for status and in sports with other boys.  They're more confident in their abilities and tend to be higher in self-esteem. [Think of the stereotypical jock.]  Late-maturing boys tend to be more nervous, have lower self-esteem, are less able to compete, and generally have a hard time.  They might be subjected to bullying because of their low status in the male totem pole.  In  short, if you're a male and you're far behind the curve, it sucks.

In the case of girls, early-maturing girls may feel conspicuous and awkward, especially if they are way ahead of their classmates in maturation.  Early-maturing girls might also be hit on by older guys and pressured into sexual behavior when they're unable to handle it.  After all, suppose you're a head taller than the average guy in your class.  How do you know what to do?  

Girls who are slower than average in development do not have the same degree of adjustment problems that late-developing boys do.  In fact, they tend to be more studious than their early-maturing peers, who spend more time in social activities.  On the other hand, they might experience anxieties because of of late onset of breast development.  For some of us, the Boob Fairy comes dismayingly late. 

Some of us slow developing girls may go in for an extended period of being a tomboy.  Under the circumstances, if you have fewer resources, it's better to wait and not compete with your earlier-developed peers.  At least nowadays there's less worry about tomboy behavior.  As a matter of fact, one of the nice side effects of Title IX is that it's okay to be athletic if you're a girl!  Hooray!  Didn't want those frilly clothes, anyway!

I was once a tomboy.  And a left-handed one, at that.  I remember an aunt going  to Mom, "How can you let Tee Angel go like that?"  She did.  As for dress, my Mom took a compromise approach to what I wore.  I would wear the prescribed school uniform for the Catholic school I attended; but at other times it was largely my choice.  Or, maybe she was just doing what she could, given that she had five children and most kids turn out okay even though they're not always up to the ultrafeminine or ultramasculine ideal!  Shoes were regarded as optional indoors for my family. Yes, I would wear knee socks in outlandish colors suitable for Hello Kitty World! 

She did instruct me in hair care, and left it up to me.

Oh, I took ballet lessons.  Seeing The Nutcracker was motivation enough for me to see there were other options beside being a tomboy.  And suddenly boys became interesting in another way, and that was also okay.

Mom made being a kid fun for me, and I think she had fun too.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Bat Guano Psychotic

I'm amazed at the scope of scatological language employed by males, especially; not so much from a moral perspective as from a sense of imaginativeness.
Take the f-word.  Nowadays, it's less often used to refer to performing the Rites of Venus (as it would be referred to in bodice-rippers) but as an intensifier or a randomly distributed expletive to be deleted by polite people when recounted in journals or newspapers.  Or dropped when interviewers are least suspecting.
But there's a surprisingly wide scope of use of the old Anglo-Saxon word "shit."  Yes, the French use "merde" as an exact translation; and the Germans weigh in with "scheisse." And a Frenchman may encourage another by MALPT ("shit to the thirteenth power!) and a German perv might watch scheisse movies (don't go there!)
They even press other species into the process.  For some reason, this final product of digestion is seen as joyful when accomplished by equines ("happy horseshit), and as an exclamation of disbelief when the subject is a male of the bovine persuasion ("Bullshit!")  When a person goes apeshit he is going into a rage or a highly agitated state.  Chickenshit has a dual meaning:  When something is chickenshit, it means that it is petty or insignificant (e.g., a chickenshit dress code in a high school).  When someone is described as chickenshit, it means that he is cowardly.
Paul Fussell described chickenshit in the military:  “Chickenshit refers to behavior that makes military life worse than it need be: petty harassment of the weak by the strong; open scrimmage for power and authority and prestige; sadism thinly disguised as necessary discipline; a constant 'paying off of old scores'; and insistence on the letter rather than the spirit of ordinances.”
But there's an interesting possibility with bat shit crazy.  Bat shit, more politely known as bat guano, does often carry the fungus Histoplasma capsulatum which can have neurological consequences and result in the host contracting psychotic symptoms.  This was most likely an accident in language, somewhat similar to the origins of the slur term redneck.* 
Maybe there's a place in the psychiatric language to recognize this.  If we call it bat guano psychotic, that ought to do it. 
*The term redneck probably had its origins in the fact that those so disparaged exhibited a reddening of the skin, particularly on the neck.  The cause of their condition was pellegra, a dietary niacin (B3) deficiency.  The classical symptoms of pellegra are the "four D's": diarrhea, dermatitis, dementia, and death.

Monday, January 28, 2013

New Orleans Pelicans

The New Orleans Hornets NBA Basketball Team officially changed its name to the New Orleans Pelicans.  Hopefully, they will have better success under the new name.
Previously, the New Orleans Pelicans was the name for a minor league baseball team that became defunct some time in the past.  I'm glad the New Orleans basketball team got a nickname to suit the place -- Hornets was so Charlotte!
Actually, there's been a sort of taboo against team name changes in the NBA.  Otherwise, why would we have the Los Angeles Lakers, the Memphis Grizzlies, the Utah Jazz, and the Orlando Magic?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Cowgirl Melinda's Advice on Manners

Cowgirl Melinda gave some commonsense advice on dealing with manners in a variety of situations.

"Please" and "thank you" are never out of style.

Don't make yourself the topic of conversation.  You are not that interesting.

Always hold the door for someone who is also going in, woman or man.

Stay at home if you're likely to spread a bad mood.

Don't overload your mouth with opinions.

If you're a cowboy, lower the toilet seat when you're finished.  If you're a cowgirl, raise the seat.  That's just being fair and polite.

When in doubt, apologize.

When you are taken to a dance, go home with the one who brought you.

Don't take the last piece unless you are the last one to be served.

If you're on a horse and going to talk to someone who isn't, dismount.  It's bad manners to talk down to anyone.

Don't adjust your bra in public.

Bragging is bad manners.

Don't  drink what's in the fingerbowl.

It's okay for a gal to ask a guy out.

A fart is never a proper topic for conversation.

Say something only when you improve on the silence.

Wearing spurs inside a house is over the top.

It's a bit much to call them "f**k me boots," even though they cause you to walk that way.

Don't say offensive things.

Don't take offense when none was meant.

Tip your hat to ladies.  And they're all ladies.

When at the saloon, always start slowly and taper off.

A compliment is always a good start to a conversation.

Don't be too disappointed in a wine that comes in a screwtop bottle.

Never interfere with someone else's dog unless he is about to attach himself to your leg.

When sharing a can of Vienna sausage, it is polite to use your fingers as long as you take just one.

Shouting "Ehh-hah" after a sermon is slightly uncouth.

When you have to go, don't go into details.  Just say, "Excuse me."

As long as we're  on this subject, don't forget to flush.

Don't put your shoes on the dinner table.

Don't spit or wear your hat in a theatre.

Don't drink out of the milk carton or the whiskey bottle.

Don't mess with anyone else's hat.

Exposing your midriff is just not right unless you're swimming in the river.

Always say soft words to your mount, whether four-footed or two-footed.


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Another Darned Student Fee

Having been in the maw of higher ed for a number of years, I know about surprising fees tacked on by universities in order to get operational money, which is among the not-so-sweet mysteries of life.  Now it seems that Worcester State College in Massachuetts has managed to top the parking fee charges that have been around since, maybe, the raccoon skin coat, hip flask, and flapper era.   Are non-drivers exempt from this kind of fee?  Nope.  Students without cars are charged a fee for walking on campus!  Yes, you can read it here:

It's allegedly to maintain the sidewalks.  But will they levy a fee if campus visitors walk on the sidewalks?  Doing this might cause a stir on homecoming weekend!  What next, a fee for toilet use?

It turns out that the quintessinal boy band, the Beatles, may have been Junior Nostradamuses in one of their songs:

Let me tell you how it will be
There's one for you, nineteen for me
'Cause I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman

Should five per cent appear too small
Be thankful I don't take it all
'Cause I'm the taxman, yeah I'm the taxman

If you drive a car, I'll tax the street,
If you try to sit, I'll tax your seat.
If you get too cold I'll tax the heat,
If you take a walk, I'll tax your feet.

Don't ask me what I want it for
If you don't want to pay some more
'Cause I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman

Now my advice for those who die
Declare the pennies on your eyes
'Cause I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman
And you're working for no one but me.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Is It Best to Date a Nerd, a Geek, or a Dork?

In the typical terminology of the more youthful classes, there's a variety of types: socials, skaters, hoods, jocks, rednecks, freaks, emos, and others.  The point is that teens and young adults, to a lesser degree, tend to sort people out into discrete categories.  There are also three additional categories that tend to be terms of disparagement.

First of all, there's the nerd.  Nerds tend to be studious, have few interests, and are socially obtuse.  They grind away at their obsessions, often abstruse ones.  Hot witches have no chance for having a nerd boyfriend, unless he's a band nerd, and would appreciate her differentness.  Nerds may be more fashionable, by the way.

Then there's the geeks.  Historically, a geek was a person in a carnival sideshow who entertained the public by biting the heads off of chickens or other intellectual pursuits.  However, the meaning of the term has evolved into a person with unusual interests, and often highly skilled in something requiring a lot of knowledge.  Computer geeks come to mind.  Best Buy calls its computer service department the Geek Squad, and they ride around in  cool VW Bugs or trucks with the Geek Squad logo.
Geeks are subcategorized into computer geeks, math geeks, sci-fi geeks, comic geeks, science geeks, history geeks, and other categories of convenience.
I would be happy to data a geek.  They are often funny and interesting.  They also tend to bestow imaginative presents.
But dorks are a special case.
Originally, a dork was a whale penis.  Well, I guess whale thingies are impressive enough to require their own word.  However, this word did devolve into a reference as to social ineptness.  In short, dorks might tend to do embarassing things.  And people around them receive guilt by association.  Moreover, dorks are usually deliberate in their dorkitude.

Are nerddom, geekdom, and dorkdom male-only preserves?  

Typically, the usual schemata for these three social types uses as its base a socially odd or misfit young male.  We don't usually describe older men or women as nerds, viewing studiousness as acceptable behavior when chronological adults do it.  However, sometimes girls are cast in the nerd role, as in a recent episode of The Middle on television.  And this ginger girl was attractive enough to engage the interest of Axel, the  quintessinal jock.  Maybe nerddom is becoming acceptable for girls.  After all, they can easily shed the part and reveal their latent sexiness simply by removing their glasses, according to television or movies.

There are female geeks; one subcategory of them are the gamer girls.  Geek girls with highly prized skills are esteemed; and are great companions to engineers.  A geek-geek romance is made in heaven.

Dorkdom is a male-only preserve.  Anyway, what girl would aspire to be a dork?  Some are born dorks; some achieve dorkiness; and some have dorkdom thrust upon them.

Only one further issue.  Are females of these types, nerdesses and geekesses?  I prefer geek goddesses!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Stick and the Carrot Approach to Winning Basketball

A perennial problem that coaches have is getting their players sincerely motivated to play winning basketball or other sport.  After all, during the long season, energy and motivation lessen from time to time. 

Two clever twists on doing so were seen in a musical that had a short run on Broadway last year and in a recent report of incentives provided by female universty students in Kansas.  The musical Lysistrata Jones recounts a tale of the men on a continually losing college basketball team being strongly motivated when their cheerleader girlfriends refuse to have sex with them until they win a game.  It was based on a similar premise as Aristophanes' old play, Lysistrata.

Well, the story line was entertaining in concept; but after being off-Broadway, the play ran for only 34 preliminary performances and 30 regular performances when it went to Broadway.

Needless to say, that although Lysistrata Jones has both a moderate number of female and male roles, it is not likely to be staged by high schools in most of the country!  And the motivational technique this fictional work suggested using can go only so far.  Some players are just not that good!

The other approach comes from Kansas.  There, the moderately successful Kansas Jayhawks basketball team was encouraged into winning ways by female fans tweeting them pictures of their boobs in skimpy team apparel for good luck.  If you are interested in this sociological phenomenon, go to this site.  Apparently, students at other universities are following suit,including UNC.
So what approach works better, the stick or the carrot one?  I don't know if this can be empricially tested; however, a diligent researcher may at least report on whether the win-loss record of those teams whose female fans tweet these good luck tokens have trended for the better!  And, of course, there's the usual scientific litany that should be included: Correlation does not mean causality!
Still, the Kansas Jayhawks have won 16 straight games, including last night's game with Kansas State!

Monday, January 21, 2013

The New Lorettes

A few weeks ago, I satirized the lengths to which some universities would go in order to fill their enrollments with  this post.  However, it seems that private enterprise has moved into the process.   According to the staid old Miami Herald, needy college students in significant numbers have signed up to be "companions" of older men referred to as "sugar daddies" in order to make ends meet with increasing college costs.  What form this companionship may take is not specified.

Specifically, this web site is the one mentioned where they may do so.  According to the Miami Herald article, numbers especially at Georgia State, New York University, Temple University, the University of Central Florida, and the University of South Florida have signed up for a "mutually beneficial" service to help defer college costs.  I'll bet that this article raised a lot of curiosity about the local participants!

I'm sure that some men go into these companionships with solely altruistic motives, but reading the web site of the organization suggests that some of the young women participants have great financial needs or wishes; specifically in the listings they allude to "expectations."  Some have regal expectations of upwards of $5,000 a month; but most have modest expectations at around $2,000 per month.

This sort of arrangement is very much like that of the lorettes in the demi-monde of Paris in the 19th century.  Lorettes, in 19th century Paris, were kept women who were maintained by the haut bourgeoise, not quite of the same level as courtesans, but definitely better off than the streetwalkers.  They lived in style until they aged.  Some of these women of pleasure managed well; many did not.

Lorette and Her Relaxed Client

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Venus in Furs: The Musical

The recent success of Les Miserables, both the musical and the movie, indicates that the death of the musical has been greatly exaggerated.  As a matter of fact,  musicals have been developed out of topics as diverse as South American dictator's notorious wives (Evita), homicidal barbers (Sweeney Todd), mothers who let their daughters grow up to be strippers (Gypsy), and other risky ventures.  Well, the old ones, Oklahoma, South Pacific, The Sound of Music, and The King and I had their moments, too

Never mind the opprobrium associated with "show tunes."  Some may be a few of some peoples' favorite things.

Anyway, Sidney Fulton, dynamic Broadway producer and would-be movie mogul, was looking over a scenario with hyperenthusiasm while talking with Byron Muffley, a casting agent.  Here is a little of the dialogue:

"I tell you, By, this scenario is totally hit material, in its core.  It has to be re-worked, however.  I don't think it would be boffo box office in its present form . . . . too serious.  We need to tinker with it some -- add a more humorous twist to it."

"Ah, Siddy.....Siddy........whatchou got for me, goombah?"
"It sounds like an unconventional boy-girl love story, but with a twist that she's the strong and dominant one and he's dependent on her.  That could go over well with a modern feminist audience, but we may need to tone her down into being less of a ball-breaker as we go for what can play in flyover country.  You know anything about some Austrian named Leo Sacher-Masoch?  He wrote this thing."

"No, I heard a little, but don't know him personally.  Not in Tinseltown or The Big Apple, as far as I know; but I'll ask Arnie, I heard he's a former Austrian.  He might know him and help with the intro.  I think you might have to schmooze this guy and work out the rights.  But what you have in mind?"

"I'm thinking an adaptation of his novella Venus in Furs into a romantic musical comedy.  we need some liberetto, some catchy songs, a really winsome heroine, and a sensitive guy who also has a great voice.  The old Velvet Underground did a song entitled 'Venus in Furs'; I'm thinking theme song for this one!  I'm thinking Katy could play Wanda. . . . she ever did a musical?  And could we use some heartthrob like Justin or one of the old Backstreet Boys to play this dude Severin?  Some name star material ought to make it go."

"Siddy . . . . I just remembered; do you know that Venus in Furs is about masochism?"
"Byron, my friend, I wondered about that.   We'll re-write it and make them Democrats.  But let's face it: masochism is as mainstream as apple pie now, as Americans have gotten used to the mistreatment from businesses and elected officials.  And those who are cable subscribers are totally hooked with mistreatment. 

And think of the spin-off accessories we could market.  Wanda's Wondrous Whips!  Severin's Chains!  Leo's Luv Lubricant!  Dominant Seductress Pas Ce Soir Perfume!"

"Sid, you might have some problems with PETA, the animal rights people.  Do you want some half-naked women protesting your play because it advocates wearing fur?"

"Well, By, part of me says 'bring them nekkid chicks on, Babyee!  That's publicity city.  But what you say?  The Tinseltown liberals might object?  Maybe we could tweak the title a little.  How about Venus in Faux Furs?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Cowgirl Melinda Weighs in on Gun Control

Although she was safely on the Wyoming prairie, far from the dangerous canyons of the dysfunctional Eastern cities, Cowgirl Melinda was not immune from concerns about the proliferation of firearms, even though she owned and was proudly proficient with a six-shooter and a 30.06 rifle.  Thus when the local western township had a discussion on gun control, she plunged in with her commonsense and no-nonsense approach to reducing the risks due to firearms. 

Well, it's a fact that the local N.R.A. types came out in force, feeling that those effete Eastern intellectuals would deprive them of their God- and Constitution-given right to bear arms.  Or arm bears, if they wanted to make things more even.  They did recognize that Melinda, although an original, was pretty much cut from the same cloth as them: a true daughter of the prairie!  So they gave her an audience:

"Thanks for letting me speak, guys.  You know me as Cowgirl Melinda, the former goose wrangler and buckarette from the Hole-in-the-Wall.  I want to say my piece and no more.  I don't make a lot of hot wind that would cause you to send me off to Washington, Dee Cee!

"Look, we've been getting too many bad scenes like in those schools and theatres: some crazy jackass coming in and shooting up the place.  Yeah, they're crazies; but a crazy can kill you just as much as a person who is as sane as a cowpoke on too many cappuchinos.

"A lot of the problems come from assault rifles.  Now I must question: Who needs a rifle that has 30 shots in its magazine, like one of those AK-47s of those AR-15s?  I mean, unless you're going off to war against those crazy Coloradoans or those weirdoes from Idaho, you're going to need only two, tops three or four, shots.  I mean, when I try to take out a coyote, if I miss, it's hasta la vista, baby!  You get it?

"I'm saying that these assault rifles are mainly for people who are bad shots and who are probably up to no good!"

Bill got all excited; he shouted, "You tell 'em, sister!  I always make my first one count!"

"Thanks, Bill!  You are the best elk hunter in Wyoming, both in and out of season!  But, look, people, compromise is the American Way!  And I got an idea that will make Mr. Joe Biden smile.  He's a great American; I know because he drives a Camaro, not some sissy little putt-putt!"

Hilltop Tom exclaimed, "You talkin' loco, gal.  How you gonna compromise on assault rifles?  You either got a right to 'em, or you don't!"

Melinda had a ready answer.  "I'm sayin' that we just write some laws that make it okay.  Numero uno:  Mandatory registration of all assault rifles!"

"Booo!  Hissss!"

"Numero dos:  Three-day period for registration check, and no soap for felons or crazies.

"Numero tres: Only pink assault rifles will besold.  Of the Hello Kitty persuasion!"

With that Cowgirl Melinda brought down the house!  No self-respecting Wyoming guy would be caught dead toting a pink assault rifle!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Saint Gus

How about a little faux hagiography?

Saint Gus, despite the exortations of his mother, Saint Monica, had a dissolute youth by being in the thralls of wanton cheerleaders and experiencing the willful temptations of both alcohol and soccer.  He spent his time in dissipation, hanging out with soccer louts instead of attending to his soul.  This went on for many years: he even prayed, "Lord, make me chaste, but not just yet."  The Good Lord accomodated him for a while.

However, one day he experienced a conversion, and went off into the woods where he was influenced by the holy recluse Wilma, who taught him a different way.

Wilma, who was a former P.E. teacher, had adopted a sober lifestyle many years ago and made vows of chastity and the perfection of her basketball skills.  She became a Zen basketball adept and lived her reclusive life in prayer and playing H-O-R-S-E.  Despite her early reluctance, she took on Gus as a student after he went through numerous trials of penance, and taught him the eightfold path of correct basketball playing.  Gus eventually saw the error of his past ways, and spent hours perfecting his free throwing ability and his ball-handling skills.

But at the core of her lessons, Holy Wilma emphasized the Eightfold Path.

The Eightfold Path consists of:

1.  The Right View -- Remember that quitters never win, and winners never quit.
2.  The Right Intention -- Take a hit for the team.
3.  The Right Speech -- Engage in no trash-talking.
4.  The Right Action -- Practice your dribbling skills on the court, not while watching models on television.
5.  The Right Livelihood -- Select the team you will play for well; and don't overlook the product endorsements.
6.  The Right Effort -- Practice for at least three hours daily; and study scouting films at other times.
7.  The Right Mindfulness -- Keep pure thoughts unadulterated with soccer.
8.  The Right Concentration -- Always focus on the hoop when you are about to shoot.

After his long penance, Gus went from some playground games to semipro and finally to the NBA.  While in the NBA he made a point of slowing down his play when his opponents were sufficiently behind.  He explained this in terms of not humiliating them.  However, there was some suspicions by the ungodly of Gus being involved in point shaving.  It was only after several miraculous comebacks during the playoffs that his saintliness was recognized and all was forgiven.

Saint Gus is invoked against airballs.  His feast day is April 8th.  It is said that if the NCAA Final is played on that day, Saint Gus will reappear in a burst of glory and the more worthy team will be the victor!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Prophetess Asks About Exercise-Induced Orgasms

The ladies' altar society at St. Cletus's Parish had been at their usual hair-splitting when it came to moral issues, being ever-vigilant when it came to being moral even to the point of scrupulosity.  Such is the way of well-bred ladies trying to steer around the shoals of morality and who have a lot of time on their hands.

Now it happened that Brenda Dufour mentioned in passing that she read that a significant percentage of women have experienced orgasms during the course of doing exercises.  These experiences, the so-called "coregasms," tend to result especially with exercise of the abdominal muscles or while riding a bicycle or a horse.*  While several of the ladies thought but did not say, "How nice!  I might look into this," that old biddy Ousier Philippe declared that those were sinful!  But Ousier was never sold on the idea of orgasms in marriage, either.  It sounded a bit worldly.

This question of sinfulness caused a lot of disagreement among the ladies present.  Some saw this as a good reason to get off the sofa.  One lady, who shall remain unnamed, wondered if the standing, sitting, and kneeling that goes on at church constitued this kind of exercise.  This muddied the water further, you can bet!

Madeline, known as the Prophetess and neighborhood tout, found this all so confusing.  While it is true that the women in those situations very often did nothing intentionally to induce those orgasms, it was also true that they did not occur in the context of licit marital relations that were officially sanctioned by the Holy Church!  They were, in effect, bootleg orgasms!  This clearly could be at odds with God's Cosmic Plan, of which it was the Prophetess's duty to discover and preach on (within the limits set by the N.O.P.D.).

So how to resolve this dilemma?  One member of the group said, "Let's send Madeline to ask the Monseigneur (the auxilary to the Bishop)!"  [Madeline, as a member of minor standing in the hierarchy yet incautious in saying what she was thinking, was often called on to ask questions of the priests or His Excellency, the Bishop!]   Perhaps we can sympathize with Madeline's involuntary thought upon hearing this -- she was not the Monseigneur's favorite person because of past misunderstandings!

Anyway, Madeline really did enjoy going to the gym and especially doing those ab crunches and riding her bicycle around the neighborhood.  So she really wanted to know.  She was just not in favor of sin, despite what Mme. Ousier might think!

Madeline went that very afternoon to the Monseigneur and asked the question directly, having turned a bright shade of red out of embarassment for having said the O-word and perhaps for other reasons!

The Monseigneur always dreaded being asked something by this questionable mystic who seemed to also be comfortable with members of the underworld in some ways.  He got that deer in the headlights look, both from the question involving S -*- X from a pretty woman and  his not being that current on science and morality.  He hesitated, thinking that this was not covered in his sex book but eventually worked out an answer.  Hopefully, one that would not result in fallout from the Bishop!

"Ah, Madeline, my child . . . . It is not a sin to have an orgasm if it solely happens as a side effect of exercise.  It is, however, a sin if to induce those delights was the only reason for performing the exercises.  Think of those, er, extra orgasms as gifts to unmarried women that give them previews of the mutual marital pleasure that God intends for those within the sacrament of Matrimony."

The Monseigneur though to himself, "Good save."

Madeline smiled broadly and replied to this happy news: "That's really cool, Monseigneur.  Outstanding!!!!!  I'm glad we can be okay with the Big Guy on this.  And is it also okay to get a nicer bicycle seat that helps provide better, er, comfort down there?"**

The Monseigneur needed a shot of Jameson with this question.  And he wondered why the Parish's Zumba class was so popular!

*This phenomenon is for true.  As a matter of fact, some genteel ladies have experienced embarrassment from having Meg Ryanesque reactions to this unexpected bonus for working out at the gym!



Friday, January 11, 2013

Casual Friday

The widespread adoption of "Casual Friday" by many institutions, business, academic, and otherwise, has led to a certain amount of ambiguity in different settings.  After all, it is hardly customer-encouraging for bankers to appear in jeans and lumberjack shirts, and even less if they sing The Lumberjack's Song!  Likewise, halters and flip-flops hardly go with most academic offices,except maybe in Southern Florida.  Because there is such a widespread interpretation as to the meaning of "casual dress," this has resulted in the vague term to clarify: business casual.

Now, for guys, there's pretty much this interpretation:  Business casual = Not wearing a tie.  That's a start. 

Actually, I found this interpretation from Wikipedia (okay, I'm lazy):

  • For women: A reasonable length skirt or trousers of a non-jeans material combined with a top (such as a dress shirt, or sweater set) is considered acceptable. An informal dress with appropriate skirt length is also acceptable.
    • For men: A combination of collared shirt (such as a dress shirt or polo shirt), cotton trousers (such as khakis or blue, green, brown, or black trousers) with a belt.  Jeans are not acceptable business casual attire. A blazer or business jacket can optionally be added.
    • Unacceptable for either gender: rumpled or ripped clothing, T-shirts, miniskirts, underwear as outerwear, inappropriately revealing attire such as bare midriffs, and flip-flops.  Many corporations also frown upon open-toed shoes and shorts. Bare feet are also unacceptable.
    The problem with business casual is that, for some people, it requires a new outfit that is worn only at work on Fridays, in which they are supposed to appear "casual."  Business casual may not fit an idea of personal casual, or comfortable.  And, once work is over, they go home and change into their real casual clothes!
    Anyway, the concept of Casual Friday or Business Casual has some unresolved questions:

    Do strip joints have Casual Fridays?  If so, what would strippers wear?

    Is the sting of the Walk of Shame muted if one returns on Saturday morning wearing Business Casual?

    Might the norm against bare midriffs be set aside for employees who wear the company logo navel jewelry?

    What about Casual Fridays in offices of universities?  Since in some cases it is okay to wear spirit wear, would it be okay to wear spirit wear of another institution?  [I can imagine some employee of a state college in NC wearing a UNC or NSU sweatshirt on Casual Fridays in the fall.]

    What does the military do for Casual Fridays?  Do they wear battle dress?

    For that matter, what is acceptable Casual Friday dress at McDonald's or Starbucks?

    If Hooters' were to have a Casual Friday policy, what would the waitresses wear?

    Can one wear bunny slippers on Casual Friday?

    Finally, what unspeakable outfits may appear on golf courses when they institute Casual Fridays?


    Wednesday, January 9, 2013

    Waiting for a Streetcar

    Tee Clotilde had a brief exposure as a clothing model, if I may use a pun in doing so.  Anyway, it convinced her that modeling involves an instinct to perform the right, correct pose even under conditions of improbability or discomfort.  It's hard to look like you are enjoying being in the water if it's cold!

    Let's face it: most candid poses are staged and stilted; the direction to say "cheese" only goes so far.  This is why those models on the runway strike those bitchy poses: I can guarantee you, if I was wearing a $5000 designer dress and being "oohed and "ahhed" by people while on a catwalk, I'd have a silly grin on my face!  For Tee Clotilde, it was no problema; her blank look reflected her mental vacuity.

    This was the deal:  she was to model stockings.  And the setting was, for God's sake, on St. Charles Avenue.  After much discussion the photographer finally decreed the proper pose:  she was to lean against a pole that indicated it was a streetcar stop!  So Clotilde was directed by the photographer to go the full Monty:  in her lingerie!

    So she was there, at 9 A.M. on the classiest street in New Orleans, in her bra, panties, and stockings, to be seen by all streetcar riders going from downtown or to Tulane or Loyola!

    The motorman of the passing streetcar didn't help things:  he repeatedly rang his bell!

    It was hard for Tee Clotilde to look sultry.  It came out a cross between looking embarassed and amused.  And those are not accredited poses for models.  But few do pose outdoors in their undies on St. Charles Avenue in the middle of the week.  Anything can happen on weekends, though.
    The motorman's take on it, as he told Al Gautreaux, Action News reporter:  "Poor Cajun supermodel: she was just not lucky at strip bourré!"

    Tuesday, January 8, 2013

    The Preacher Made a Visit

    A new pastor was visiting in the homes of his parishioners.   In general, he was cordially received by most; however, at one house it seemed obvious that someone was at home, but no answer came to his repeated knocks at the door.

    He did not wish to force his presence, thinking that there was some family crisis.  Therefore, he took out a business card and wrote ‘Revelation 3:20′ on the back of it and stuck it in the door.

    When the offering was processed the following Sunday, he found that his card had been returned. Added to it was this cryptic message, ‘Genesis 3:10.’

    Reaching for his Bible to check out the citation, he broke up in gales of laughter. Revelation 3:20 begins ‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock.’ Genesis 3:10 reads, ‘I heard your voice in the garden and I was afraid for I was naked.’

    Monday, January 7, 2013

    Required Reading

    Some books ride the Zeitgeist sufficiently to appeal to people of different ages; others are definitely period pieces.  Having to read a period piece is uphill all the way.

    In choosing "required reading," the choosers (teachers, librarians, school boards, etc.) grew up in an earlier time than did their intended audience.  And they sometimes are put off by books that seem to draw the attention of young people.  By limiting their choices thusly, they sometimes lose opportunities for connection.

    I realize I'm going into dangerous waters here; perhaps goring some sacred cows, but here goes:

    The Hunger Games is one that engages the youthful readers.  It is set is a dystopian world that appeals more than Lord of the Flies.  This book accomplished the motivational aspect of getting youths and teens to read, and enjoy doing so.

    Huckleberry Finn (Mark Twain) is a perennial classic, as is Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen) and To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee).  These are books that seem to have an enduring, intergenerational appeal.

    Some books absolutely creak.  Seventeen (Booth Tarkington) is one of those.  The characters are overblown, unconvincing, and crass.  Plus it has an uncomfortable amount of racial stereotypes as part of the baggage.  Little Lord Fauntleroy is extremely Victorian and goody-goody.   But what seems to be overrated is The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger).  Maybe I'm unfair; but this book seems to cater to the introspective angst of self-centered males, typically 16-year-old boys who can't get girlfriends and young male English professors.  (But I may be redundant).

    There needs to be more girl-friendly books on the lists. Wuthering Heights and Pride and Prejudice are good choices, Jane Eyre is not.  I got more out of Sweet Valley High

    I'll go out on a limb and say that A Confederacy of Dunces is one of those books that are good both for teens and the adults who teach them.  But its adoption as required reading might cause a stink in the Bible Belt or the North!  Lord of the Rings is also a winner.  A surprising book that might appeal to teens, but not to school boards is The Loved One, by Evelyn Waugh.  That chick had a dark sense of humor!

    Note to Holden Caufield:  "Girl up!"

    My 400th post!

    Saturday, January 5, 2013

    What Having a Number of Lad's Magazines Imply

    I don't mean to be judgmental about reading matter.  Certainly, people who live in glass houses should not throw stones, but I'd like to weigh in with my perception. 

    Upfront confession:  I like to read romance fiction at times: the kind that sometimes is referred to as "bodice rippers."  So I'm not on some intellectual or moralistic high horse.  No.

    There's a genre of male-oriented publication commonly called a lads' magazine.  Among the type are Maxim, Playboy, FHM, and others.  They feature a lot of articles on sports, grown-up toys, and -- not surprisingly -- underclad females.  Some women find them to be disgusting, and declare men who read them to be beyond the pale.  I'm less critical.  As a matter of fact, I bought my pal Dee-Doh a copy of Maxim when he was laid up with the flu.

    Not all women feel my way.  For example, they might be threatened by the major league mammaries of the cover model, and feel that they poorly compare to her.  Or, the have this old romantic notion that it's a woman's job to police men; to put the one marked by her on the straight and narrow path.  Well, good luck doing that, I say. 

    Anyway, guys, about your mag collection.  Most women, when they first visit your apartment, are curious.  Curious about the hygiene [especially in the bathroom]; but mainly curious about you, what kind of person you are.  Some nice artwork or good books or intellectual magazines like Science or Atlantic strategically placed makes a good impression.  But she's also looking for evidence of other women having been present. 

    [Tip: if your previous guest left her panties hanging on the towel rod, then maybe you ought to put it in the top of the closet; chances are, they're dry by now!]

    A lads' magazine or two is usually okay, particularly if it's with other types that might denote a wide range of interests.  If it's not, are you sure you want her as girlfriend material?  She's going to be highly critical of other of your habits that she will declare to be bad.  But don't go overboard.  A stack of them screams "pathetic loser" or that W word that the English yobs love to use!
    As for the other magazines, try for a mixture that signals a wide range of interests or accomplishments.  Symbolically, it's putting your intellect in view.  But, for God's sake, DON'T just go out and buy intelligent magazines.  You might cause her to try to discuss that subject matter!


    Okay, in small quantities!

    Thursday, January 3, 2013

    Funny Place Names

    Why not look at a few funny place names?  Sometimes people get quite creative in coming up with a name for where they live.

    The first funny place name comes from its apparent origin: It was a mistake.  Apparently, Nome received its name through an error that occurred when a British cartographer copied a note made by a British officer on a nautical chart during his voyage up the Bering Strait. The officer had written "? Name" next to the unnamed cape. The mapmaker misread this as "C. Nome", or Cape Nome, and added that name on his own chart.  The name stuck.   Nome had a gold rush in the early 1900's.

    Not being content with one place named Boogerton, Tennessee and North Carolina each have one.  Tissues and antihistamines are used aplenty in both places.

    Apparently, some Amish in Pennsylvania discovered a new form of recreation, and named one of their towns after this pleasant pursuit.
    A community in Georgia honored the Great American Orgasm in their place-name.  Since there is more than one Climax in the U.S., we must note that multiple orgasms are as American as apple pie.
    If there is a place needing a name change, it is Anus, France.  Is there a Cloaca nearby?  At least the residents know where their heads are.
    I wonder about the safety in this small Texas community.  Presumably, the N.R.A. has a strong presence here.  Does the local E.R. have weekend specials?
    A harder than usual toilet for the stouthearted residents here.
    This is appropriate, as Mississippi has the highest rate of obesity in the United States. 
    Another town in Mississippi: one addicted to a legal stimulant.  No warranty as to the quality of the coffee.   Is there a Starbuck's there?
    Bookend flatuses are not honored here.  It's the middle one that must be properly stressed in this Danish place.
    Small towns sometimes do have an activity shortage, but this place just gave up!
    For excessively narcissistic people.
    Residents in this place in Maryland must be forgiven for always expecting something bad to happen.
    Doesn't look much like an elephant; maybe a hippo.
    Here's an oddly-named town in Washington that is proud of its modern city dump.
    Scrupulousity in card-playing and business is the rule here in Kentucky.
    A fabulous drugstore in one place; and rough water in the other?
    This Pennsylvania town makes me wonder why a neighboring place was not named Two-in-Bush.
    This town is in Devon, England. 
    Not hardly a commendation for this place but possibly a reason why it did not grow.
    Yes, there is just such a place in Kentucky.  Fussy wordsmiths from New England said that the sign should read 'Opossum Trot.'
     Opportunity comes knocking in Montana:
    Happy traveling in 2013, you all!