Saturday, June 30, 2012

Slandering of Michelle Obama

One of the most disgusting political ploys on the market--actually, usually on anonymous email--is the slandering of Michelle Obama.  Fio doesn't care what you think of a President's politics, but DON'T SLIME HIS WIFE OR CHILDREN.

The attacks on Mrs. Obama have been particularly nasty and virulent.   For instance, that she spends too much money on clothes.  Now, the Obamas can spend their own money any way they want, but Fio would bet that Michelle's wardrobe is a whole lot less expensive than Nancy Reagan's was--you never read about ol' Nance buying off the rack.  Second, that she's bloated her personal staff, which has been contradicted by PolitiFact's research.  Third, she said something snarky about the red, white, and blue, as supposedly lip-read by experts.  In fact, real experts who were contacted by PolitiFact read her as saying something quite different, that it was interesting how the flag was folded..

But politics is politics, dirty tricks is the name of the game, people will believe what they want to believe, and adversaries who have no real arguments fall back on ad hominem.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Updating Luann

Whoa--where is Luann going?  She and Quill are alone in the house, sitting on her bed, obviously considering--uh--using the bed.

Now, we already know that Toni and Brad are doing the deed, but they're older and more experienced while Luann and Quill are still in high school, both perennually sixteen.   One can only hope they decide to get off the bed and start singing before her parents traipse through the door at an inopportune moment, as would assuredly happen.

Luann is the obvious heiress to For Better or Worse, which also boldly went where no cartoonist had gone before in portraying modern sexual mores.  Remember that Elizabeth moved in with her college boyfriend, and before that her little sister and a high school boyfriend drank a bottle of wine and would have done it except for some interruption Fio can't quite remember.  And there were veiled references to promiscuous sexual activities of one of little sister's friends, the one who became a rock star.

What next?  Will TJ turn out to be gay?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Rebellion in the Ranks

Fiorella is fascinated and amused by the turns the current anti-obesity campaign has taken.  First of all, by the idea that people need to be informed that they are overweight because they wouldn't know otherwise.   Second, by the idea that  an informative lecture from their doctor will do anything other than drive them to Lambe's for a consolatory pound of chocolate fudge.  Third, by the idea that there's not only a one-weight-fits-all, but also a one-diet-fits-all.  Fourth, by the idea that everyone has the leisure to be dieting and exercising.  Fifth, that overweight is a cut-and-dried medical situation rather than an emotional and lifestyle situation.  Sixth, that emotional and lifestyle situations can be changed by becoming aware of one's BMI.  Seventh, that all it takes to lose weight is a little self-discipline. 

And that's just for starters.  Pass the potatoes.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Forty-three Forever

The faint lines and wrinkles are returning as the swelling goes down, and those pretty cupid-bow lips have thinned out.  But, so what?  Fiorella doesn't want to look like a perpetual sixteen or even twenty-five.  She just wants to look her own age.  Well, except better.

And to think, all this started with an upper eye lift because Fio ran a red light she didn't see. What next?  Maybe Fio will get her arm flab taken care of somewhere along the line.  Or maybe a tummy tuck.  No, not a tummy tuck,  She's heard those things are P A I N F U L.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Fiorella engages in priority housekeeping.  Whatever is in desperate straits receives attention; the rest can wait.  In contrast, housekeeping was Fio's mother's major priority.  Yes, Fio grew up in a house in which there was a place for everything and everything was in its place, and she liked it, but she has other things she'd rather do than clean, vacuum, and pick up after everybody.  

She always did.  It drove her mother crazy.

Monday, June 25, 2012

American Tragedy

No one won.  Not the young men who had to  reveal  the salacious details of their sexual exploitation to a sensation-seeking world, then submit to a roughing up by a defense attorney.  Not Sandusky, who couldn't figure out why he, a boy at heart, shouldn't engage in  sexual play with actual boys as long as he compensated them with football jerseys.  Not his wife, who will reap the whirlwind.  Not his children, whose world has come crashing down. Not the college, which has not only lost its soul, but will be sued till its wallet also is a goner.  Not McQueary, who's been criticized for not doing what he didn't know he should have done, but if he had, wouldn't have been believed.  Not justice, which, in this case, could never be satisfied until time were turned back.

How sad.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Dogs Rule

Sonya has reached another stage of development.  She wants to play all the time so Mommy is teaching her "fetch," but she hasn't quite caught onto "drop it," which means the game ends up in a tug match, which Mommy does NOT want.
Sonya's baby teeth are gone so she doesn't draw blood anymore, but she uses her new, larger teeth on Mommy's hands to try to get Mommy to do things for her.  Sort of like, "You have an opposable digit--do something with it!"
Fio's household operates on a series of doggie gates.  The kitchen and den are partitioned off from the rest of the house to restrict Sonya and Bosco's activities.  We call that area doggiedom.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Bullying, Part Two

Decrying bullying has become the latest national pastime.  It puts you on the side of  truth, justice, and the American way.  It also puts you a self-righteous notch ahead of the next guy.

And sometimes it turns you into a bully, as when the elementary school teacher had her students line up and, one by one, slap the transgressing child's face, as when the school board went overboard to punish the seventh grade boys who taunted their bus driver.

Let's forget the term "bullying."  It's too easy.  What we are talking about is people being mean, and you don't cure that by being even meaner to them.  Especially children. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Dining Out

Fiorella is going out to eat this evening with Husband, Daughter and her husband, Son and Girlfriend, Brother and his wife to celebrate Husband's upcoming birthday. Which is all very nice, but brings up the obvious question: how did restaurants become so much a part of everyday life?  When Fio was a child--and her family was classic middle class--they went out once a week, for Sunday dinner at the Piccadilly.

When Fio was in high school, their culinary outings added Thursday night, to give Mom a break, but that was it.  For one thing, there weren't that many decent restaurants around in Waco at the time.

But now, still middle class ,Fio  regularly meets friends at Dan's Hamburgers, Stabucks, or Chili's.  And once or twice a month, she, Husband, and Son, head off to a classier joint or two.  And for big celebrations, it's upper crust.

Ah, the times, they are a-changin'.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Sports Lawsuits

Roger Clemens was found not guilty, and Barry Bonds was convicted of  just one count of obstruction of justice.  Can Lance Armstrong be far behind?

Fiorella is not a sports fan and couldn't care less, but she thinks that prosecuting athletes for supposed use of performance-enhancing drugs is useless.  She also suspects most of the drugs are useless, that their major effect is psychological--except for steroids, of course, which ruin the user's health and well-being, thus creating their own rewards. 

Leave off the frivolous prosecution of athletes,  Even if some exotic blood transfusion does cause someone to perform a teeny bit better, who's to say everyone else isn't using it too?  All sorts of things might help an athlete get an edge.  Might as well outlaw lucky clovers and rabbits' feet. 

Now, sodomizing boys in the shower room, that's a different matter.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Fio Has Her Face Back

Fiorella has just returned from the bathroom where she was checking on her face for the fifth time this morning.  It's still got some swollen lumps and  splotchy bruises, but she's in the final stretch and is very happy. 

In fact, she thinks everyone should have a facelift.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Women and Ladies

Back in the sixties, the term "lady" was reviled as sexist and elitist.  Instead, we all became "women."  Never mind that our mothers had raised us to be ladies or that every restroom door with aspirations so called us.  We were all um-galla-galla, muscle-pumping, equal-rights, bra-less WOMEN!

Then our bodies sagged and our spirits flagged.  Maybe there was something nice about having a door opened for you, especially when you were pushing a grocery cart full of rapidly-defrosting food and rambunctious children.  Maybe it made us feel special to have waiters take our orders before our escort's.  Maybe the word "lady" wasn't so demeaning after all.

"Lady" made a comeback, but instead of being an upscale alternative to "woman,"  "lady" seems have replaced it.  Thus one hear embezzlers, hookers, even murderesses,  referred to on news broadcast as "ladies."

Maybe it's time to revive "woman" again.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Far Flung Snippets

At the same time that Romney is sucking up to the tea party by speaking against gay marriage , he lambastes Obama for proffering amnesty to foreign-born children who've grown up in the United States, saying it was done out of political motives.  Let's face  it. In an election year, they're both pulling out the heavy artillery,  But are they saying/doing these things in order to get elected/re-elected?  Or are they trying to get elected/re-elected to further these causes?  As Shakespeare would say, that is the question.
The phone that's supposed to be in the den is missing.  So is one of my beige, soft-soled Mary Janes.  I think they eloped.
Sonya is sound asleep at my feet.  That won't last long when Husband discovers she's munched on his mouse.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


There's really nothing more to say
Than happy, happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Neanderthal Art

Fio's first talent was art so she's especially interested in the news that the world's oldest cave art--the oldest discovered so far, at least--may be Neanderthal in origin.

The creation of visual art is unique to hominids. Forget about those elephants, parrots, and apes who have been taught to swash  brushes back and forth--true art is representative, not pseudo abstract.  We make pictures of things, of people, of events, of anything we see because we are driven to do so.  Maybe it's a compulsive memorization device, maybe a kind of control.  Fio's first recognizable picture, drawn when she was two and a half, was of her mother's vacuum cleaner.  Took care of that sucker.

Hmm . . . . Neanderthal art.  Maybe our artistic proclivity is part and parcel of our five percent Neanderthal DNA.  It works.  Fio has always maintained she has more Neanderthal in her than most.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Morning Search

Did I leave it on the couch?
Or stuck away inside a drawer?
Is it perched upon my desk?
Or maybe sitting on the floor?

I play the same game every day--
Where did I put my laptop away?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Medical Day

It happened today.  Fiorella's scorpion-stung toe turned red and swelled up like a baby sausage.  And it HURT.  But before she could get to a doctor, she had to drive over to the local emergency room to be with Son, who was having painful stomach spasms.  Four hours and loads of tests later, and they still didn't know what the problem was, but he was given a prescription for pain medication and told to make an appointment with a gastroenterologist because it might be his gall bladder.  

Fio then took off for her coumadin nurse, who graciously saw her early because Fio had made a toe appointment with her PCP on the south side of Austin for 3:45.

 It's now five and Fio is home at last.  Amen.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Literary Sting

It happened yesterday.  A scorpion stung Fiorella's left foot on the third toe--the little piggie who ate roast beef.  She whapped at the beastie with her notebook a couple of times, but it scuttled to safety.  then she hobbled over to the pantry to grab the box of baking soda, mixed it in a shallow bowl with water, and soaked her toes in the soupy paste until the pain abated enough for her to take care of  morning chores, leaving a trail of baking powder everywhere she went.

Of course, you're familiar enough with Fio by now to know her first thought . . . .

How can I use this in a book?  

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Sonya's Doppelganger

No matter how loud she barks
No matter how fierce her display
That doggie in the mirror
Just will not go away

Monday, June 11, 2012

Just Wondering

All our enemies of yesteryear--the Germans and Japanese, the  Russians and Chinese, have been/are being recycled as our friends.

Somewhere along the line, the world powers recognized that there is more profit--figuratively and literally--in peace than in war, that it is better to sell goods to each other than to kill the populace and ravage the countryside. 

So when do the Islamic extremists reform their ways and join together with the rest of the world?

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Just as newspaper news gave way to TV news, TV news has given way to internet news.  What next?

Fio is bored with the leftovers of her facelift.  She wants the bruises gone NOW.
You'll notice that Fio hasn't gone on any political rampages lately.  She's given up on right and reason.  People vote the way they want to for then own motivations, then make up ways to justify it afterwards.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

HB Postdate

To Friend Ellen: 

Your card will be late
Too much on my plate
But I still celebrate
Your natal date

Happy birthday to you
My good friend and true

Friday, June 8, 2012

Chapter Two

Here's the latest on Fio's medical front: the ninja mask is off and the doctor has set her next follow-up at three weeks, which means that now it's nature's turn to take its course.  The swelling is already going down, but the  bruises will take two more weeks to fade.  Still, Fio thinks she looks good--battered, but good.  She'll wear her new face to her RWA chapter meeting on Tuesday and see what kind of reaction she gets.

As if there's any way she can take it back for a refund.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Royal Disney

Last year was the royal wedding.  This year was the queen's diamond jubilee.  Party, party, party.  It's good for the British national psyche and good for tourism.  It also  makes you understand how the Middletons, who started up a party goods empire, were able to marry their daughter off to Prince Charming. Event planners are the new royalty.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Sonya Stocks Up for Hard Times

As Fiorella has noted before, Sonya is a bone burier.  She buries them outside in long trenches that she claws out of our rock-hard soil, and she buries/hides them inside behind the big waste basket, in semi-obscure corners, under the leather chests, and between couch cushions.  She's even tried to bury them in the big plush cushion on top of her princess bed, which is a wonder to behold because, of course, pillows don't cooperate, no matter how hard you try.

Her project this  morning has been to bury a bone at Fiorella's feet, in the dregs of the comforter that Fiorella, sitting on the couch, has wrapped around herself.   The loosely quilted fabric is pliable and maneuverable so Sonya has nosed it into protective place above and around her treasure.  Yes, all of her inside work--pushing, prodding, shoving--is done with her nose.  

Who needs hands when you have that skillful a snout?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

In Maschera

Sonya's not the only one in the family with a mask, but unlike Sweetie Dog's, Mommy's mask is on her neck, jaw, and the outside of  her right eye.  Also, Mommy's face is lop-sided, puffed out on the upper right cheek and the lower left cheek.  (Mommy drew herself in the mirror, so the sides of her face are reversed.)

Mommy went into Austin to visit her surgeon again yesterday and he took out the stitches under her chin and along her hairline in front of her ears, then gave her a black elastic ninja-like head stocking to wear till Thursday, when he takes out more stitches.  He also suggested taking Vitamin C and Arnica to help with the bruising.

Sonya's mask, on the other hand, is permanent.  And Mommy wouldn't want it any other way.


Monday, June 4, 2012

Facelift Report

Fiorella looks awful right now.  Her face is swollen like a circus balloon and she's got big purple bruises along her jawline.  On the other hand, she now has a jawline.  And her mouth in repose no longer resembles a tragedy mask.

Better and better, day by day.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Wendy Rides Again

Hey, hey!  As of today, Fio has 1502 blogs!  What to do with them now?  Well, obviously, she'll run the pages out, sort them into topics, then publish.  First out of the gate will be our beloved Wendy Dog.  Don't say you didn't see her coming.   

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Jig Jag

Yes, when Fiorella isn't hurting, hurting, hurting, she's bored, bored, bored.  And Fio is more difficult to to live with when she's bored than when she's hurting.  TV helps some, but it gets boring too.  And she's not up to playing the piano now.  And Lord only know what sort of poem or story she would write while she's hopped up on massive doses of hydrocodone.  Which leaves--obviously--A JIGSAW PUZZLE!

Fio adores jigsaw puzzles, although normally she refrains from committing herself to them because then she wouldn't get anything else done.  But now's the time, and lines and shapes are the thing.  She's giving herself through Sunday to finish this one off, and then she should be able to plow into PRINCESS RED again.

Friday, June 1, 2012


How can Muslim women get used to wearing the hijab, that headdress thing that leaves only the face visible?  Fiorella is going crazy in the medical version of same--ace bandages wrapped around her head and neck.  They come off on Sunday, but Fio doesn't know if she's going to last. She's already stuffing folded paper towels up under the elastic because it itches so much. And her skin's swollen, which doesn't help matters.