Thursday, February 28, 2013

Madeline the Prophetess Discusses Types of Guys

Well, it happened to be time for Mlle. Madeline, AKA The Prophetess, to discourse on different types of guys.  It's interesting that she did this, considering that she is totally chaste and seeming quite circumspect although strange in her lifestyle.  Nevertheless, she is recognized as locally as The Prophetess; consequently, the New Orleans television media calls on her on occasion for her observations while the priest at St. Cletus's Church cringes. 

It so happened that Missy Chauvin, our Action News reporter, while doing a daytime talk puff segment, invited Madeline to discuss what she saw was the different types of males.  This was done without any irony on either part.  Here is what transpired:

Missy Chauvin:  "Madeline, From your perspective, what kinds of guys are out there?"

Madeline:  "I'm so totally glad you asked, Missy.  Oui, there are different kinds of guys; c'est vrai!  Here is my take on them:

The Alpha Male -- This is the typical "take charge" guy; the one with lots of charisma.  He's attractive, charming, and a natural leader.  He exudes self-confidence, and is able to get others to go along by force of his personality.  Think of him as natural quarterback material.  Frankly ladies, he is out of your league unless you are the supermodel!  Attempts to seduce him are taken as hus just do."

Missy:  "Ah, Madeline, you are right!  They get taken by supermodels and corporate CEOs.  Some of them have egos to match and never call afterward . . . . "

Madeline:  "But there are others . . . .

The Beta Male -- The Beta Male lacks the self-confidence of the Alpha Male.  He is more passive and shows less initiative.  Beta Males ordinarily prefer to follow the lead of others, and go through life under the radar.  They make good sidekicks or wingmen.  They also make good husbands, if you keep them on the straight and narrow.  They usually will attend church with you, and dress appropriately.  Let them fish when they wish, and go to the races.  And, of course, attend Saints games.

The Gamma Male -- The Gamma Male is basically a non-conformist.  He marches to his own drummer and may tend to be artsy-fartsy.  If he is, then he is always entertaining but can be a prima donna!  If his metier is writing, then keep him away from the bourbon or Irish whiskey.  Many a creative guy got washed up on the shoals of alcohol abuse.  Make him go to church with you, and try to rein in his lapses in dress.  After all, we must be the civilizing influence!

The Delta Male -- This type of guy tries to act like an Alpha Male, but does not have the charisma, self-confidence, or generally recognized leadership.  Because of this, he may try to pass for a leader through bullying the weak selectively.  They can be the jerks, the canaillesLes chie-en-lits!  If you detect Delta Male traits, stay away!  For true!  Some Delta Males can be wife-beaters.  Especially beware if they wear that kind of shirt: that's a tell-tale sign!"

Now Madeline turned to discuss the true losers:

"The Psi Male --  These guys, while  eccentric losers, are basically harmless.  They might have excessive interests in role-playing games, dress unusually, and are typically loners by choice.  The boys in Sixteen Candles who, while riding the school bus, wore athletic supporters on their heads is a real-life for instance of this type of guy while still young!  If you adopt this type of guy as a boyfriend, you must expect a lot of embarassment from his strange behavior!  Give him pity affection; it is the simple charitable thing to do!

The Omega Male -- These are the true losers, guys who lack basic social skills and drive.  They may neglect basic hygiene, affect rude or brusque manners, and exude a general air of creepiness.  Let's face it; these are the guys to avoid, even though you feel that you should give him the benefit of the doubt.  The Omega Male is often preceded by a reputation that might include petty crime, animal cruelty, or bizarre interests.  They should not be pushed or confronted, as they might lash out in violent ways.  [Some do have a store of guns and ammunition.]"

Missy: "So, Madeline, would you summarize by saying which type of the guy is best?"

Madeline:  "Oui!  The Beta Male, perhaps; but the Gamma Male is most amusant!  Deltas might be reformed with firmness; but it is a lost cause if they go to law school or into politics."

Missy:  "Merde!  I know some Omega Males.  The Honey Island Swamp Monster was cool by comparison."

An Alpha Male, receiving homage

Other sorts of males, plus a female in the group

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Guide to Dating, Beauty, and Oil Change

1. Be always prepared for that all-important meeting. Wear clean clothes, and something that smells good.

2. Keep your quarry in mind, and dress appropriately. Don't wear a Justin Beiber t-shirt if you're shopping for a banker.

3. Use an equipment upgrade if needed. (Most guys don't mind when they find out later that you were stuffing.)
4. Cultivate a sincere interest in a fine sports team like the New Orleans Saints.   Yankee or Red Sox fandom can be very risky; but warthogs find other warthogs attractive.

5. Drink beer, particularly draft beers or full-bodied ales or stouts. This makes you appear to be a fun person.

6. Ditch the heavy intellectualism, unless you're into profs.

7. Don't be into profs, ever.

8. Worship at the V.S. shrine.

9. Think short when it somes to skirts.

10. Shower and wash thy hair.

11. Easy on the makeup and scent.

12. Think bikini for a beach setting, unless the person in question is an inhibited, possessive Star Trek freak.  [A story for some day.]

13. Figure that there's a lot of stuff guys just like, and keep from running it down. This includes sports, cars, hunting or fishing, dogs, hardware, and heavy machinery.

14. If he wants to bowl, it's okay. Really. Dear old Dad does too.

15. Thou shalt not date priests. That is a no-no with the Big Guy.
16. Or ex-priests. Too many hang-ups.
17. Don't date using personal ads. The information in them is the second major source of mendacity in the world, after politicians. (Nobody tells the truth in 'em.)

18. Bars are for going with someone else, not to meet someone new. Unless you're into boozers.

19. Get your oil changed at one of those quick oil change places every 3000 miles. Use a thinner weight oil in the winter.  Or you can put in the oil by opening the 7-10 cap.

20. Check your oil weekly if you have a slight drip like I do. I mean an oil drip.

21. Don't skimp on the battery. Get a big one.

22. Don't turn to open the the radiator cap when the car is warm.

23. If he's married, don't. If you wind up with him, he will stray on you, too. Unless you take him to the vet to keep him from wandering.

24. Have snack foods and beer around the old spread, but not pork rinds.

25. Easy on the scents. Chemical warfare is prohibited by the Geneva Convention.
26. Don't judge a guy by his wheels. Unless it's a Porsche.

27. It's not promising if he takes you to dinner at a place where you have to bus your own table.

28. Keep a count of how often he mentions his mother on the first date: three strikes, he's out.
29. Remember the "More than Two Maxims Rule" -- if he has one Maxim lying around, it's okay; if he has a stack, that can be a problem.

30. Don't propose going to a chick flick; let it be his idea and give him full credit for it.

31. "I like them big and stupid" may work in that oldie song by Julie Brown. But you better re-think that idea.

32. Does he like dogs? Good.

33. Does he have a pit bull in an reinforced steel cage? Not so good.

34. If he knows more about fashion, beauty, and makeup than you do, introduce him to your sister.
35. If he talks about his ex-dog, that's not a good sign.
36. If he gives you an endearing pet name, that's a good sign in the relationship; if he calls you "Porky" or "Bitch," that's not.

37.  Express interest by mild signals as the hair flip.  Licking your lips is too overt.  Unbuttoning the top two buttons of your blouse while making eye contact is trashy.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Breast Enlargement by Region

Recently CNN reported that breast and butt enhancement surgical procedures declined 7% and 36%, respectively; Bilbo wisely commented on the desires of humans to fend off the consequences of time and aging, noting that face lifts, cheek implants, and eyelid lifts increased.

In a statistical mode, I looked into this subject matter, and found some interesting 2006 statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons:

"According to statistics compiled in 2006 by the ASPS, breast augmentation is the most popular in the Mountain region (Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming) and Pacific region (Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington), with 36 percent of cosmetic surgery patients in those states undergoing breast augmentation. The second most popular region for breast augmentation, with 19 percent of patients undergoing the procedure, is the South Atlantic region ( Delaware, Washington, D.C., Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Puerto Rico). Breast augmentation in the South Central, North Central, and New England/Middle Atlantic regions accounts for 17 percent, 15 percent, and 13 percent of cosmetic surgery procedures, respectively."

An article in Slate remarked that it was a red state phenomenon, which must have been really news in California!  Somehow, I never thought of a boob job as a political statement, but Eastern journalists see right-wing politics in everything, I guess.  Maybe it's kind of like looking for a Boogerman under their beds?  Anyway, the we can say that residents of warmer, sunnier states are more likely to elect this procedure, presumably because they have more opportunties to have their bodies on display. Curiously, there is also a time zone relationship: PST and MST states have higher rates than CST and EST states.  I can't conceive of any reason why that might happen.

As for size of inplants adopted, there does not seem to be regional statistics, but a woman in Texas got some sized 38KKK.  Now she must have required an industrial-strength bra!  Of course, we must remember how the Grand Tetons got their name!  I read that the L.A. area is particularly noted for large-sized implants.  It's not a surprise to anyone that Seth MacFarlane honored them at the Academy Awards with his somewhat crass song "We Saw Your Boobs"!

But where are women more likely to express interest in breast implants?  I happened to find this map:

Salt Lake City coming in number one was an utter surprise, with searches for breast implants running 74% above average being the highest in the nation.  Maybe someone can come up with an explanation for this that makes sense, as well as why the West Coast has about three times the rate of breast implants as does New England.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Blue Stockings and Candy Stripe Knee Socks

The term blue stocking referred to an educated, intellectual woman.  It originated with the Blue Stocking Society back in 1750s England.  This group, headed by Helen Montagu, wa a group that admitted both men and women and discussed intellectual topics, as opposed to the usual gossip and drinking of most.  The origin of the term apparently came from the members' proclivities to wear blue woolen worsted stockings instead of silk ones.

Anyway, the term blue stocking carries with it a negative connotation that has lived on to this day.  I guess it's the adult equivalent to girl nerd or girl geek.  It's based on the implicit assumption that an intellectually-curious woman is an anomaly, if not a total abomination!  In my opinion, this is not the most socially adaptive way to function.  Thinkers and fine minds are, unfortunately, still at  premium.  Any society that minimizes the use of possible brainpower of 50% of its population is self-handicapping itself stupidly.*  Literally.

However, it is also not the best thing for bright girls and women to be shoehorned into the exclusively brainy role.  The fact is, we're not just thinking beings; we're also feeling and sensitive ones.  We have our minimum requirements for self-esteem support, to be noticed, and oxytocin release.

In short, appreciate our minds; but also appreciate it that we have nice legs!  Our wearing candy stripe knee socks is a way of calling attention to them!  As a matter of fact, candy stripe knee socks can reflect your moods or be obtained in the school colors of your choice! 

*This is also an argument against the "dumb blonde" stereotype that some people mistakenly console themselves with.  However, I'm reminded of La Rochefoucauld's maxim that "The height of cleverness is to be able to conceal it."  At the very least, it reduces certain expectations and raises others.

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Civility in Speech and Writing Committee Meets

Very clearly, the Joint Faculty-Student Committee Civility in University Speech and Writing Committee had a lot on its plate.  The barbarians were at the gates still; but using a more subtle approach!  No longer were many students still using non-p.c. terminology; as a matter of fact, the Publication and Blog Monitoring Committee reported very little in the way of behaviors to clamp down on: the q-word, the s-word, the f-word, and other linguistic no-nos went the way of the "Pineapple Jack" sleep dresses and the silver loafers of the 1980's, as well as the virgin pins of an earlier time when such creatures were rumored to walk the campus.  The drumming and rapping sets were tamed; something about the formation of a Christian Rap Club and the Co-ed Drum Circles de-fused these possible sources of dissention and inappropriate speech.  Still there was the vocal minority who, in insolent defiance of the wishes of alums and bottom line-oriented administrators, still spoke out in their opposition to college athletes.  But those were toothless bears as long as the football team was winning.

So what were the current worries of the committee?  

First, there was the burgenoning trend toward indecency in dress; but to make matters worse, how those improprietries were referred to sorely distressed the English faculty.  There was, for example, the creeping Hollywoodisms of "sideboob," "underboob," and "butt cracks"; totally barbarous terms to refer to breaches in civility and modesty.

The Dean of Modesty offered a proposal: forbid, under penalty of suspension for the first offense, expulsion for the second offense, any cleavage display of any type.  She suggested that the University could draw on the ground-breaking advisory given by CBS to the presenters at the Grammy Awards Ceremony.

Professor Jamieson of Marketing demurred, "But what about those gowns that the female students' parents allowed them to wear to their proms?  Are those only for back home?  Parents might object; and we might experience blowback from the local businesses if this is a factor causing the students to go home on weekends instead of spending time and money here!"

Dr.  Wilkins of Economics offered some alarming numbers, "At a bare minimum, this will result in a 60% more students going home per weekend than before; with a resulting negative impact on businesses on The Strip."   Where those figures came from also suggest that you can nail Jell-O to the wall.

Therefore, the emphasis shifted back to language.

Dr. Crenshaw of the English Department raised an important issue: maybe it's not the dress, but the terminology that is primarily offensive.  "We must consider, it's not primarily the garments, but the dysphemistic terminology that offends sensibilities.  According to the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, language influences thought.  And this especially includes euphemisms.  Accordingly, let's include in our 'Proper and Improper Words and Style Manual' such forbidden words as 'sideboob,' 'underboob,'  'butt crack,' and the like.  But in order for implementation of this policy to be accomplished with maximum efficiency, the University needs also to propose desirable substitute terminology."

The Dean of Modesty, intrigued, asked for some examples.

An erudite student opined, "Well, we could specify that instead of "'underboob,' 'Australian cleavage' is recommended."

Professor Crenshaw inquired, "Should Australian be capitalized, or not?"

Dr. Wilson of the Sociology Department raised an interesting point: "I say that we leave it uncapitalized.  To capitalize that word might cause Australian nationals and Australian-Americans to take offense; but to leave it uncapitalized simply emphasizes the face that the cleavage comes from underneath."

The Dean of Modesty said, "Let's leave it uncapitalized, then.  That's one shrimp we don't need to throw on the barbie."

Example of australian cleavage

Example of lateral cleavage

What about "sideboob?  While that was regarded as a barbarism, it was more difficult to come up with a civility substitute.  However, being bright scholars well-versed in periphrastics, they came up with "lateral cleavage."  And they were satisfied.

No such problem occured with "butt crack."  The suggested term, "buttocks décolletage" was viewed as absolutely linguistically charming; and would serve appreciably to neutralize any dismay that the phyiscal display might cause.  As an indication of its quick acceptance, local plumbers' unions and the AP quickly embraced this term.

All members of the committee were so proud of their efforts that they bought souvenir sweat shirts emblazoned with Periphrastic Committee.  It was good for morale.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Personality Disorders and Committee Activity

Personality disorders are inflexible, maladaptive patterns of personality and behavior, particularly in relation to other people.  They can be thought of as extremes in personality that result in distress to the diagnosed person or to others.  The American Psychiatric Association distinguishes these on Axis II of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems.  

It is rather paradoxical that, although personality disorders are defined partly in terms of how a person relates to others, there has been no systematic categorization of how personality disorders impact on that most human of social enterprises: the committee.

In some ways, we can hypothesize that committee work had its antecedents in the primordial male bond, originally functioning to hunt large game, with the resultant sharing of its fruits: a largesse of meat, increases in esteem of the participants, and possibly opportunities for sexual congress afterwards, (or so we can hypothesize).  Some present-day committes just simply screw things up.

Anyway, bless 'em or damn 'em, we got committees.  Up to that unspecified geographical feature, the wazoo! 

Now committees have their fans and their nay-sayers.  Consider these old saws:

"A camel is a horse designed by committee."

"A committee is where minutes are kept and hours are wasted."

So, what kinds of personality disorders intersect with committee activity?  I'll venture these:

1.  The passive-aggressive personality disorder -- The person with this personality disorder revels in dilatory tactics because he perceives them to be annoying to others.  As a result, meetings do not go as planned by the moderator; they drag out ad infinitum.

2.  The histrionic personality disorder -- Thhis participant engages in attention-provoking behaviors, taking up a lot of extra time.  He or she may do something unexpected, or dress inappropriately for the setting, or just plain repeatedly interrupt so as to be noticed.  The result is that the focus is drawn away from the ostensible business to whatever this person is doing.

3.  The narcissistic personality disorder -- Unlike the histrionic person, this person is his or her own cheering section.  He does not deal well with ideas not his own, but tries to bludgeon his through the committee process irrespective to other committee members' contributions.  In effect, they are relgated to an amen corner of sycophants.

4.  The obsessive-compulsive personality disorder -- In this one, the diagnosed person is caught up with minutae, and metaphorically cannot see the forest from the trees.  This type of person tends to split hairs, seeing his or her role as being sure everything is done in proper form.  While this person does not intend to frustrate others, she or he does.

5.  The antisocial personality disorder -- This personality disorder is characterized by "a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others that begins in childhood or early adolescence and continues into adulthood." (American Psychiatric Association).  Now that can fit several examples of committees, from groups of playground bullies to Congress (think of Netflix's series House of Cards).

6.  The paranoid personality disorder -- This type is characterized by paranoia, a generalized distrust of others, and excessive suspicion.  Some committees and groups based on conspiracy theories may be affected by this type of personality disorder.

It is presently premature to speculate on whether the proposed self-defeating personality disorder may impact on committee functioning, unless the committee chair is of this type.

I hope this analysis may be of some value to you in conceptualizing committees.  It is worth noting that these personality disorders may be characteristics of key members only, or the group in general.

However,most of the time committes don't work because of everyday, nonpathological reasons, such as:

1.  Having a committee chair who is indecisive or not firm enough to keep everyone on the subject;

2.  The committee not having a specific obect or agenda;

4.  The committee not having enough time or resources to do its function;

5.  The committee members not being sufficiently committed to its objective.

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Dirt Road Sports Make an Appearance

The Southern urban settings are relatively like those of the North: the stolid everyday folk go about their bidness (sic), the bohemians try to be sophisticated with some degree of success, and the underworld is usually polite enough to not make its doings too obvious.

In the mountainous South, however, there is the phenomenon of the dirt road sport.

Now, what's a dirt road sport?  Basically, this is a backwoodsy, misbehaving guy who gets into minor mischief, historically in association with moonshine, but nowadays the possibility of weed or meth usage compounds the problems.  They get into trouble, or engage in minor mischief in the main; but  if riled, they may explode into real violence.  Usually, the experience of a hangover, an unanticipated trip to a hospital E.R., or a few days in jail is enough to keep them okay until okayness is too much for them to bear.  Their neighbors tend to dismiss them as feckless, a no-'count lot.  Let's join two of these.

Billy Bob and his sidekick Bubba show up sporadically in town, and mischief of tomfoolery always followed in some form.

It's, like, 2 A.M., and "BAM!  BAM!"  Shots were heard on the outskirts of Main Street.  It seems that Bubba and Billy Bob each demonstrated their marksmanship by shooting holes in the sign reading "Scroungout, Tenn.  Speed Limit 30 MPH."  Both Bubba and Billy Bob were able to hit the ohs directly in the center.  These two, and other dirt road sports, shoot up a lot of signs that way.

Sheriff Buford came along, and his first take on it was, "Good shooting, boys!"  Law enforcement sometimes uses a light hand when the judges and county officials are not involved.

On another occasion, Bubba had issues with the local Episcopal minister.  As a result, our guys stole some goats and placed them in the vestry.  Sheriff Buford wrote them up for goat rustling, but the local D.A. failed to bring them before the Grand Jury because "this type of true bill would cast our county in a bad light."  He used a similar line of reasoning when our two local miscreants modified the church sign into some suggestive message before the Sunday worship service.  Some members took it as a divine reminder to "go forth and multiply" and went back to bed. 

A dangerous thing to hear from dirt road sports is, "Look at this, Vern," or "What would happen if we put bottle rockets in the dumpster" or some other possibility.

One time Bubba and Billy Bob got dates with strippers; and the four of them passed an agreeable evening drinking moonshine and grapefruit salty dogs while under the town bandstand before the Fourth of July Parade.  They got totally hammered and all were totally out!  They were awoken by fireworks and the martial music of John Philip Sousa, and felt that someone was shooting at them.  During Stars and Stripes Forever, two half-clad good ole boys and two nekkid* strippers burst out like Whack-a-Mole figures shooting into the air!  Needless to say, this was the Fourth of July that no one forgot, even though the county weekly primly avoided any scandalous news that, if aired, would upset the Chamber of Commerce. 

Once they showed some long-range planning.  They seeded the football field of a rival to the high school they attended with grass seed in the form of their former school's initials.  They were careful to use seed that resulted in grass that had a different shade of green so it slightly showed. 

What do the neighboring folk think about these dirt road sports like Bubba and Billy Bob, as well as Cletus and Festus and Jim-Bob?  Well, it varies.  If they are directly affected, they are absolutely fed up with those no-good riff-raff hooligans.  Most of the time, though, their feeling is that they're just good old boys meaning no harm.  The fact is, Scroungeout can be a rather dull place; but Bubba and Billy Bob have boffo entertainment value!

*Lewis Grizzard is credited for the definitive distinction between nude and nekkid:  To be nude is to be unclothed; to be nekkid is to be unclothed and up to something!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Tee Boudreaux and the Outhouse

Early one morning, Tee Boudreaux was walking along the bank of Bayou Que de Tortue behind his house. All of a sudden, he noticed that the family outhouse, located right on the bank, was tilting dangerously toward the bayou; the heavy downpour from the previous night had serious eroded the bank where the outhouse was located.

Being a boy (and a pretty canaille one at that) and reasoning that the outhouse was beyond salvage, Tee Boudreaux picked up a big stick and whacked the outhouse - really peléed it - and watched as the outhouse toppled over, fell into the bayou, and quickly sank under the muddy waters.

A few hours later, Papa Boudreaux came up to him and with anger in his voice asked, "Tee Boudreaux, did you knock that outhouse into the bayou?"

"Papa," the boy answered, "like George Washington, I cannot tell a lie. I did it."

"Mais, Tee Boudreaux, come with me maintenant to the woodshed. You are going to get the whipping of your life!"

Tee Boudreaux was shocked by this turn of events and said, "Papa, when George Washington told his papa that he had chopped down the cherry tree, his papa didn't give him a whipping."

"Mais no, Tee Boudreaux," said his father, "but George Washington's papa wasn't in that cherry tree when he cut it down, either."

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Odd Stuff

I.  According to the Sun, While Sports Illustrated was photographing topless pictures of Kate Upton for the annual swimsuit issue, she almost developed frostbite on her boobs.  Considering that the temperature was -20 F, maybe a bikini top and buttoning the coat would have been in order!   Sometimes, art requires sacrifices; Perhaps Kate, having come from Michigan, was used to that kind of cold.  In more Kate news, a rumor has her working to recruit athletic prospects for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, meeting one-on-one with prospective recruits.

II.  Japanese pop singer Minami Minegishi was caught sleeping with her boyfriend, or even having one; this prompted her to shave her hair and abjectly apologize to her fans for "being a slut."  This made me very sad.  Whatever people or social pressures that prompted her to do that was most cruel.  Why should a girl have to apologize for having a boyfriend?  Instead, people should be happy for her.

Minemi Misegishi

III.  Earlier this week, Pope Benedict XVI announced that he will retire on February 28th.  In all likelihood, the next Pope will be elected by Easter.  There's a trio of legends to bring up, each nonsensical:

1)   Pope Joan -- Supposedly they unknowingly elected a woman Pope, Pope Joan.  When she gave birth on the street, they stoned her to death.

2)  The sedes stercoraria -- This is a chair in which the Pope-to-be sits, and the cardinals manually, shall we say, check out his equipment to ensure that he is male.  Talk about awkward for all parties, if this had been true! 

3)  The Prophecy of the Popes -- This prophecy predicts that the Pope following Benedict XVI (current Pope Benny) will be Peter the Roman (Peter II), and his papacy will end with the destruction of the city of Rome.  Gee, maybe there's something to this; after all, Silvio Berlusconi is back leading the Italian government!  So get your tickets as the Forum, the Trevi Fountain, and the Pantheon are not going to be around very long.

IV.  If you travel a lot with your spouse or lover, you tend to be closer to that person and enjoy better sex.  This could be due to the pair getting closer through coping with new conditions together, or simply being more flexible to begin with. 

V.  "Ye Olde Gift Shoppe" is a fake Medievalism.  No one said "Ye" during that time; "ye" was a print substitution for the Old English letter thorne which has a "th" sound.

Thorn looks like this: Þ or þ

Here it is in large size: 

Thorn or þorn (Þ, þ)
VI.   I found a site that describes an obscure U.S. military base in Greenland during World War II. It was called Bluie West One, and it was located on a glacial moraine. Apparently, it was a place where short-range planes could land and refuel with crossing the Atlantic.  It looks from 
this article to be a cold, distant place.  It must have been awful to be assigned there.
 There's also a rumor about a very large military hospital located there so as not to dampen public morale.  According to some questionable sources,  it was totally secret and had about 5000 beds.  No official source describes it; it did appear in a Lonely Planet guide for Greenland and in some odd travel books.  Definitely material for conspiracy theorists by going to this site: 
or this one:
VII.  Apparently, some hip companies have been giving humorous job titles to appeal to the sense of irony of members of Generation Y, my group that is alternatively fawned over and regarded as spoiled, depending on the way the wind blows.  Some examples might include Director of First Impressions, Ambassador of Buzz, Consultant of Pleasure, Grand Poo-Bah, and others.  See this article.  I will offer a reservation about these: Should you change jobs, and apply to a more conservative company, this cutesy job title may handicap you.  For example, if I listed my position as Überbabe of Psychology (even if that was my real title!), I can pretty well write off being hired someday as a Dean of Arts and Sciences.
VIII.  Guppies hang out with unattractive companions to increase their own sex appeal, according to this article.  As the researcher put it, "As a researcher I cannot compare human mating systems with the guppy's one," she said. "But if you ask me as a person, sure ... I saw this tactic working pretty well with humans.  She obviously attended an American high school.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

True Love

For Valentine's Day, I give you a romantic cartoon.  Men and women are built differently, physically and psychologically.  There's evolution and culture behind this.  However, each year on Valentine's Day couples mark this occasion with romantic gestures.  Sometimes the perceptions as to what constitutes a romantic gesture may be different, but accept a romantic gesture for what it is: an attempt to reach out with love.
Olivier charms Colombe with a perfect rose.
I don't think that we should censure guys for being romantic in the way they might happen to be.  It is due to the way they we have evolved over numerous millenia.  And the romantic and the physical are not that far apart sometimes.

Finally, a Valentine for my on-line friends.  Thank you for being yourself, and checking into my blog.  I hope your Valentine's Day is a joyous one.  Love is beautiful.  What the world needs more of love is love, sweet love.  It's not in a superabundant supply.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Prophetess and Mardi Gras

In one of her unguarded moments, Madeline the Prophetess confessed to Crazy Chester, her handicapper, that being a prophetess was hard work and often discouraging, with the lack of appreciation on the part of the clergy.  Chester, in his role as a freelance counselor to the New Orleans street eccentrics, inquired of her further: just when did these feeling start, and what might be related to it?  (Chester took a internet course in Creative Counseling from one of those fine on-line diploma mills.) 

Madeline finally admitted that she felt out of place with the Mardi Gras season going on.  People did not need much services of a traiteur; and their need for prophecy services could wait until Lent.  In a word, Madeline was bored!

Chester said, "Dawlin', you need a break.  Nobody in New Orleans pays religion much attention now; get with the party, have a Hurricane or two, and earn some beads by flashing your pretties!  Maybe you can surprise Officer O'Shaughnessy while he's patrolling on Bourbon Street."

Madeline was not sure about this advice, so she asked a hypothetical question to her spiritual advisor de jour, a Jesuit selected because they're rumored to be easier than some of the other religious orders locally.  Father Devereaux, the priest in question, qualified his answer by saying that flashing her breasts was, indeed, a sin; but since the sinner was modestly endowed, it was only a venial sin at best!*

This  strangely gave Madeline courage, and she planned a mild version: she would wear a costume featuring an elaborate headdress and brunette wig,  a gayly-fringed bottom, and a jeweled metal bra as a costume.  After all, it was Mardi Gras, so laissez les bon temps rouler! 

Of course, she had a Hurricane, which is de rigeur for Mardi Gras!  If you do one, and make it last for several hours, you will not be doing a headache penance for it on Ash Wednesday!

I will say that Officer Pete O'Shaughnessy was agreeably surprised at seeing Madeline on Bourbon Street, especially with her festive costume and her collection of Mardi Gras beads.  She gave Pete some; he looked positively festive in his police uniform with the beads!**  The Sergeant at the First District station did not fuss; it was enough that a cop finished the long Mardi Gras shift without bailing out and taking up policing in some non-stress locale like Baltimore.

The next day she also gave Father Devereaux some.  He smiled.  He had the spirit of Mardi Gras too.

*This may not be the official party line  of the Vatican, I guess.  Father D., a native of New Orleans, knew enough of the place to go easy on his penances.  Orleanians can stand for only so much in the way of religious austerity.  And it's true: Catholic New Orleanians priest-shop to find more tolerant ones.

**A common uniform variance in the Eighth Police District (the French Quarter).

Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The "I Believe" License Tag

At the instigation of evangelistic Christians, Florida and South Carolina have entertained proposals for "I Believe" license plates. The idea failed in Florida, but got adopted in South Carolina. The plate in question featured the motto on the bottom: "I Believe," with an image of a stained glass window and a cross on the left:

While these certainly seem to violate the Establishment Clause regarding religion, there should also be some room for Freedom of Choice and self-expression. I'm libertarian enough for that.

But how can there be a reconciliation of the desire to keep Church and State separate, while still encouraging self-expression? I think I have an idea.

Have the state issue a generic "I Believe" license plate, with space on the left for the purchaser to affix any decal of their choice in that space on the left. So, if they wish a religious tag, they can come up with their own Cross or Crucifix. Or Star of David. Or Buddha.  Or Islamic crescent. Or Darwin's picture (maybe the young one, though).  Or favorite university logo. Or a beer mug. Or Democratic Party or Republican Party symbol. Or Starbuck's mermaid. Or gay rainbow. My point is that people have lots of different things that they believe in, and they also deserve an opportunity of airing their beliefs. Especially if they're willing to pay an extra $25 or so to the state for that privilege. 

I believe in encouraging pole dancing as an art form. The pole dance is one of the lively arts; but I don't think that the current state tag to "Support the Arts" had that in mind. Therefore, I would like my "I Believe" tag to feature a pole dancer.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

A Self-Indulgence for the Beach

Let's jump the gun on the SI Swimsuit Issue.

Finding the right swimsuit is not easy.  There's so many factors to weigh in: stylishness, acceptability, color, comfort, security, and so forth.

This crocheted bikini top and bottom was pricy; but too tempting to pass up!  It's sufficiently opaque enough in the right places to be modest.  I like the understated color and texture.  The attractive fringe serves to de-emphasize a small bust and possible tummy adipose tissue.

Taa-daa!  All I need is for Lent to pass and the weather to warm up quite a bit!


Friday, February 8, 2013

Sakura the Pot Princess

As a fairy, Sakura had an unfortunate work history: she started off as the Cherry Blossom Fairy; but she overtested the elixir on herself and became sleepy herself instead of giving humans Spring Fever.  After other false starts, she become the Fruitcake Fairy, and turned a tidy profit by lacing those inedible products with alcohol despite her not being over 21 at that time.  When she and other fairies were pink slipped, they worked as ronin cheerleaders, making a go of it for a while.

And, she was rumored to be in control of the lighting at the recent Super Bowl; but the real culprit was voodoo!  That is for true!  It seems that the N.F.L. did not get sufficient goofus dust or John the Conquerer or other gris-gris to handle a major spectator event.  As for the minature dolls, they were re-branded as minature Forty-Niner or Ravens players and sold to rebid fans.  Even practitioners of the voodoo arts know modern business techniques.

Anyway, Sakura temporarily got a job on the wait staff of a restaurant that specialized in hot wings, but she found the clientele to be ungenteel.  As a matter of fact, the guys could be rambunctous.

So she meandered over to St. Tammany Parish where it's always 4:20 and she became a herb gardener.  Apparently, Sakura was in her metier: having transparent wings was not out of place there where the Honey Island Swamp Monster also roams!  Her cilantro grew tall in the early Spring, and it was followed by oregano, lavender, sweet basil, chives, rosemary, mint, parsley, a cornicopia of herbal crops to delight the discriminating palate!  She noticed that some of her prime customers seemed to be unconventional herb lovers, especially for her oregano.  In questioning one of them further, it seemed that they were cutting their own product, marijuana, with oregano.  (They make a nice additive to brownies or fudge, too: see Alice B. Toklas brownies in Wikipedia.)

As someone said after trying some:  "You're doing a heckuva job, Brownie!"

This miffed her, to say the least.  Sakura believed strongly in pure products and wanted no part of pot-adulterating.  She was a strong believer in the Sixth Commandment (the Seventh, for some Protestants).  So she decided to take countermeasures.

Now St. Tammany Parish is easy shipping distance to New Orleans and Biloxi, and she soon developed a fine product widely known as St. Tammany Scented Gold.  Funny thing: she was finally able to spread widespread drowsiness to humans; but they also developed an incredible sense of the munchies.  Those leftover whiskey-laced fruitcakes camme in handy.  For others, Fritos would do in a pinch.

Never underestimate the power of a good fairy.  But especially a slightly bad fairy!


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Making Trouble on Campus

It's really expected of you as a college student unless you're a SGA wonk: you're going to find some little way to annoy the people in the Division of Student Affairs. Now I have a theory about these people: they're hired to annoy students with various rules and regulations to keep the Good Name (such as it is) of the University in proper status. Actually, they are the worthy descendents of the Puritan Fathers and Mothers. Am I imagining things, or do they privately refer to each other as "Goodman" or "Goody" and persist in wearing those sober clothes even in the nonserious state of Florida? As least faculty members find that student attentions are directed adversely toward these Student Affairs people, and not to them despite sometimes unfair examinations.

Well, making trouble is my forté. And here are some fool-proof strategies to annoy the Dean even though there are no longer any dress codes or dorm hours:

1. Sponsor some disreputable event, like a wet t-shirt contest. This is particularly upsetting if an academic club does so.

2. Spread rumors about wild doings on road trips that in fact were nonexistent.

3. Demand student participation on the Board of Regents or the Council of Deans.

4. Protest the rising cost of tuition.

5. Decorate statuary on campus. One status has been provided with bras so often as to be a cliché.

6. Develop a protest movement asking/demanding better seats at football games. This will cause the alumni money boys to have a conniption fit, as students are supposed to be safely tucked into the end zone.

7. Decorate the dorm or apartment building with those plastic flamingoes.

8. Start a spontaneous pep rally in front of the Prez's house at midnight.

9. Start a movement to abolish Student Government.

10. Start a movement to change the school mascot. No joke. The students at some institutions have successfully gotten their teams named the Aardvarks, the Wonder Boys, the Banana Slugs, the Billikens, and the Ragin' Cajuns. Why should students be content with team names like the Tigers or Lions?

11. Park in the Dean's personal parking space.

12. Flagpoles can be used for flying other things besides flags. Use your imagination here.

13. Put together an outlaw group to participate in the Campus Singing Contest. Develop an a capella medley of the songs of Avril Lavigne for the performance, and end it with the appropriate "Who Let the Dogs Out."

14. Despite being passé, some campuses still sponsor "Miss Whatever" beauty contests. Get your out-of-bounds club to sponsor you. Ham it up satirically. (Psychology or Chemistry Clubs are generally hotbeds of campus sedition.)

15. Point out that you can get textbooks much more cheaply from on-line vendors than at the University Bookstore.

16. Start a rumor that some controversial radio talk show host will appear on campus. Let everyone get in a tizzy.

17. Ask for Open Mike nights in the Student Union. Recite free verse. Even better to a bongo drum. Hey, that's retro!

18. Disreputable meetings. Now this is a page from the faculty. On one campus there was a Friday Prayer Group that set aside a room for their meeting. A Friday Non-Prayer Group requested time for the same room in the very next hour.

19. If all else fails, you can wear Daisy Dukes to Student Government meetings.

20.  Do something legendary, like some M.I.T. students did when they stole Cal Tech's cannon:

Naturally, this deed practically begged for retaliation from the techies at Cal Tech, who were equally up to creativity in making mischief.

M.I.T. pranksters with their booty.


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Professor Longhair Playing "Go To the Mardi Gras"

Here's Professor Longhair, singing the unofficial song of the New Orleans Mardi Gras.  Just turn on the sound for this catchy tune, if you please, and let the good times roll!

For those that prefer the really old Mardi Gras song, here's "If I Ever Cease to Love."  When Russian Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovitch visited in 1872, they heard that it was his favorite song.  Accordingly, every band in the parade played that tune.
It's pretty lame, isn't it? 
Grand Duke Alexei must have gotten tired of it by the time the parade was over.
I'm sorry about yesterday's slip in which I accidently posted a fragment of something I was working on.