Will Accept Payment of Spaghetti for Sex

Wednesday was my boss' birthday, so yesterday our department took her out to Ristorante Abruzzo for lunch. It was surprisingly good food for a restaurant located in a strip mall! During the course of the meal, I was referred to as "dip" "whore" and "spaz". This perhaps warrants an explanation.

My boss is incredibly sarcastic which is matched beautifully with her wit (again, she doesn't know about this blog so I'm not kissing ass here). She's truly a pleasure to work with, and I consider a day without a trip to her office for some verbal abuse and reading tips a sad day indeed. I actually really miss her when she's off, she makes me laugh so hard.

In turn, I provide her with a thick skin to whack away at repeatedly.

We took separate cars to the restaurant, for even though it's only across the street, that street is Lake Cook Road which is, to say the least, NOT pedestrian friendly. Unless you cross the road at the train tracks 1/4 mile back, you're taking your life in your hands, and even then I believe the sidewalk on the south side of Lake Cook was put there merely for asthetic purposes. I arrived at the restaurant first, and just my carload sat down at our table, in comes my boss with the rest of her carload.

"Did'ja notice they put up a sign in front of Jewel as you passed? It reads "Dip In Road"."

Inspired by my brother-in-law's retort to Shannon's blogabuse, I retorted with "Well my response to you is THIS: 'oh, YEAH???' followed by sulking while eating my oven-fresh Italian bread! So THERE! You're SO lucky it's your birthday or I might have burst into tears and caused a scene, too!"

"You'd do that for me? I LOVE causing you pain! It's just what I always wanted!" She asked, wiping away a fake tear of her own.

As we were perusing the menu, my coworker pointed to one of the pasta items and asked me quietly, "Doesn't that sound like a dirty word?" I glanced over and, of course, she was pointing to one of the two items I was considering for lunch: spaghetti puttanesca. (I'm ALWAYS torn between two items on the menu until the very last second, no matter what the restaurant. We could be at a restaurant that only offers two items and I'd be torn between them, forcing everyone else do decide before making a decision of my own, then asking the waiter what THEY recommend, then feeling bad if I don't WANT what they recommend....) The other item on the menu I was considering was the risotto primavera which looked wonderful, but although I LOVE mushroom risotto, most other risottos are only okay.

Seeing M and I smiling at the menu, another, quiet, subdued coworker yelled "WHAT?!?!?" from across the table, forcing M repeated her query.

"Puttanesca means whore!" Lynn called out indignantly.

"Jo, you're ordering that, right?" my boss immediately asks.

"Um, actually, it looks really good! I mean, if I WERE a whore, WHICH I AM NOT, I think I'd work for that pasta in lieu of cash..."

I quietly ordered the puttanesca much to the delight of everyone, which prompted a very confused look from the waiter.

After we'd finished our lunches and the waiter returned with our wrapped leftovers, he announced, "Puttanesca?" as he handed mine to me. "Right here!" my boss replied, pointing to me.

Apparently I hadn't been called a name by everyone in the restaurant yesterday lunchtime, for "SPAS" was clearly written on the bag he handed me. I kept the bag as evidence.

Of course, the minute I returned to my office, I had to look it up. Sure enough, Spaghetti Puttanesca does indeed mean "whore's pasta."

I should have called Meepy before ordering. She'd have saved me from hearing "THERE's the spaghetti whore NOW!" every 5 minutes this morning.


And the Blogging Blue Ribbon Goes to....

Catherine Zeta-Jones, shown here high-clapping to avoid having her dress fall off, annonced the Blue Ribbon for Blog of the Week earlier this morning. Shannon's blogs on Gay Terror, particularly the "biojihadists"; the Christological implications of Snakes on a Plane, and his Samuel L. Jackson Challenge, "made me laugh so hard my boobs fell out of my dress and, right then and there, I left my husband for Shannon." Zeta-Jones said.

She was promptly killed by JoJo. Her head can be viewed standing on a pike outside the third office on the right at the Equity office building.

To celebrate the occasion, English avante-garde poet John M. Bennett (pictured below) presented Shannon with a Pabst Blue Ribbon and dedicated a poem to him entitled "Mud Bladder." Bennett tearfully proclaimed that Shannon had inspired him to start writing again after spending the last five years hiding from people like me who drove him from England to Australia because his poems piss us off because we don't understand them.

mud said reaper
lab could laughter
eel said laundry
snore could corner
rust said louder
dorm could folder
beach said cubes
mile could spender
butt said squalor
fit could rammer
heel said haddock
slab could under
lunk said grovel
bond could bladder

"I never said "laundry"....?? I was misquoted!"
- Blue Ribbon Eel


Improv A-GoGo!

(Stolen pretty much word for word from the Peepster):

On Sunday, August 27th, The Flying Buttresses and Playmation will host an Improv Open House, a free-for-all where you can get on stage and show us your stage genius. You can see what we do when we practice our games and scenes and you can join right in. Think of it as an interactive "Making Of..." video. Imagine if you were able to just jump right into the TV when watching The Making of the Superbowl Shuffle. Wow! What a thrill to be right along side those masters of their craft as they danced their way to immeasurable humiliation in the midst of one of football's most memorable seasons. Finally, here is your chance to do just that...Tom is the Walter Payton of improv after all.

The Open House Melee Happy Fun Times start at 11 am and go until 3 pm. Come whenever you'd like. Watch. Join in. Order some delectable Beat Kitchen grub. Let us give you a location and a relationship for once.

Improv Open House
Sunday, August 27
11 am - 3 pm
Beat Kitchen
2100 W. Belmont Ave

The Flying Buttresses are:


I am SICK of these muthafukin' snakes on this muthafukin' plane!!!

It started several months ago when my friend Mugsy sent me a link with the subject line - "This is fucking hysterical" The link led to what I THOUGHT at the time was an online joke.

I sent it to everyone I knew and then promptly forgot about it.

Several weeks later, the movie Snakes On A Plane was mentioned on NPR. They were as surprised as I was to learn this movie was not only not a joke, it was actually being made and it was to star Samuel L Jackson.

A couple of months later, this billboard appeared in Lincoln Square to underline the fact that someone seriously made a movie. Called Snakes On A Plane. Incredulity turned to curiousity, and we became determined to see it during its opening weekend.

What a classic B-Movie poster!

Two weeks ago, the Peepster sent me an email containing a personalized message to me from Samuel L. Jackson.

Yesterday Shannon, the Peepster and I went to see this legendary-before-it-was-even-released movie at the Kerasotes City North theater on Western, where we were warned by a digital female voice to behave ourselves because we were being watched before the movie started.

In retrospect, that was probably the creepiest part of the movie. Although the fear I felt for the calibre of the film we were about to see based on the crappy previews had me pretty terrified.

Snakes On A Plane may not leave you with a clearer understanding of the Bible, but it is goofy fun and well worth the price of admission.

Mugsy failed to mention that he was indeed starring in this internet phenomenon.
Brilliant marketing strategy, Mugsy!


Cherry Flavored...Whisky????

Isn't this just NyQuil poured into a glass bottle and relabelled?? Isn't whisky bad ENOUGH??

....don't answer that, James.

I prefer a whisky that tastes like a timeless peat bog!



(DAMN I'm behind on my posting! I think I'll be up to date after this one. )

This blog entry was inspired for you by terrorist rat bastards! And the ridiculous, inefficient, confusing response implemented to alert the public as to the level of threat we face hour by hour!

Is it wrong that I get excited when our terror level hits Level Orange? I think they should maybe rethink this stupid color bar terrorism level thing. Maybe use a number system instead. That way people like me won't be confused into thinking Terrorism Level: ORANGE is a good thing.

and, especially for SoaP fans:

All levels will be printed in orange to maintain a positive attitude and general feeling of well-being despite the level of threat.

Seriously, I swear this was HYSTERICAL when Shannon and I thought it up on what seemed like 2 hours sleep while waiting near LAX gate 45 for over 3 hours. We'd been warned to arrive 2-3 hours early as this occurred a mere 4 days after the
21 terrorist wannabes were rounded up at Heathrow. However, the ride was so quick we got there almost 4 hours early and then we practically flew through security even though LAX has the most stupidly arranged airport configuration imaginable (and the most unfortunately named, being named after the latter half of a powerful chocolate-flavored bowel-evacuator).

Someone beat me to writing an orange alert album, but, like Spinal Tap, I can still release an album with an orange cover - sans markings - name it whatever I want, and people will buy it by the truckload because the cover will be so awesome.


Sammy's Faerie GodMom Struggles With Her Faith


Posh Spice-Beckham is also a godmom - to Ginger Spice's baby, Bluebell ("Bluebell"??? WTF???), so we FINALLY have SOMETHING in common aside from our looks. She only WISHES her GodBaby was as cute as mine, though!

Last weekend Shannon and I flew to LA to celebrate Samantha Hope's baptism. I was so honored to be a part of the ceremony, much less asked to be Sammy's Godmother - not a role I take lightly! I must confess I'm a bit humble to be anyone's moral guide, much less a baby as special and wonderful as Samantha Hope.

She's the cutest baby I've ever seen, and I used to be a child photographer. Her Christening was such a great experience I've been rethinking my status as a "NEVER AGAIN! NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER... (ad infinitum) AGAIN!!!!" lapsed Catholic. I've made the huge step of removing the "ad infinitum" from after the 758th "NEVER!" Msgr. Fleming, pictured above, was one of the reasons for this.

(You can thank the Rev for this next introspective bit. He made the mistake this weekend of asking why I stopped going to mass, which I had done religiously (pun intended) up to three times a week until I was about 19.)

Sammy Hope shown here giving a physical illustration
of Auntie Jo's fears of being a terrible moral guide

I really do miss the ritual aspect of the Catholic mass - the "tinkles, bells, and smells" as my ex-seminarian friend Matthew used to say. I've been looking for years for a religion to park myself in and I keep coming back to Catholicism - mainly because I was raised Catholic and it's therefore the most familiar to me, having been surrounded by it throughout my formative years and well into adulthood. I have SO many issues with the Catholic church, though, I can't see myself coming back wholly unless it was my terms, which pretty much would mean redefining the faith altogether, (and I just don't have the energy to fight Mel Gibson at every turn, though I could certainly outwit him if his best offence is calling me "sugar tits"). I'd feel like a liar and a poseur if I started identifying myself as a Catholic when I don't believe so much of the doctrine and dogma, but "once a Catholic, always a Catholic" is a phrase that embodies so much more than just the fact that you're born into the faith and/or baptised. The faith follows me around as closely and as quietly as my own shadow - invisible because of the clouds when I look for it, vivid as blood when I least expect to experience it. I can't imagine myself wholly immersed in any other religion. I can't imagine myself, for example, as a Protestant even though I agree with far more of the religious beliefs many Protestand religions hold, for example, those of the Quakers and Methodists. Actually, my beliefs fit pretty squarely with those of the Humanist, Quaker, and Buddhist faiths, and I definitely feel most comfortable with Buddhism.

As for Catholicism, to tailer it to Jo: First off, that whole "immaculate conception" thing would have to be revisited. The fact that I think Jesus was really a great great person, I'd even go as far as to agree he was maybe the greatest who ever lived, but I can't bring myself to believe he's actually the son of god. Like, God's his dad in the same way that my dad is my dad - that's the part I can't wrap my brain around and accept. I can accept the concept that as we're all children of god, Jesus is the son of God and we're all equal and start from there, but the basis of the Catholic faith, of Christianity, for that matter, is that Jesus is God's one and only son. Questions of his being wholly or half-divine have sparked wars and genocide. If I can't accept that fundamental premise, I'm obviously not a Catholic or even a Christian. Interestingly enough, several priests and priests-in-training I've spoken with also have trouble with this and understand my dilemma, and struggle with it all their lives. Hence the the whole "faith" issue, I suppose.

Secondly, I think the Bible is a wonderful book, but I do not believe it is accurate, infallible, or literal truth. I believe it's open to interpretation.

Thirdly, I don't believe in heaven or hell. Except for terrorists, child abusers, and rapists, who will have their own special hell to face when they. It's hard for me to imagine them sleeping peacefully for eternity they die.

And don't get me started on the treatment of women, homosexuals, and non-Catholics, or on the oftentimes bloody and corrupt history of the papacy.

Besides all of the big glaring problems I have with Catholicism, I have had my own experiences where I wondered why my God remained quiet and wouldn't send me any form of comfort, and I stress again I've had a pretty awesome life overall. I've seen others suffer horribly firsthand, and have heard of millions more on the news and throughout history book. Yeah yeah yeah, I know, "God works in mysterious ways." That answer does NOT cut it for me, and is one of the things that mainly turned me away from the Church. I don't claim I'll ever understand God, or even have the capability of doing so. I'm so much more comfortable with the idea of a, um, "being" for lack of a better word, sentient but not physical, that plays no role in our personal lives whatsoever, that doesn't care about us at all individually, certainly doesn't weep for us, is only waiting to be discovered. Like a 14-year-old playing hide-and-seek in a labyrinth the size of the universe.

To make the understatement of the year, it's a hard concept for me to put into words.

"I don't want to start any blasphemous rumours
But I think that God has a sick sense of humour
And when I die I expect to find him laughing."
-Depeche Mode
Blasphemous Rumours

But why do I care? Why do I feel like I'm missing something and should settle into a religion, me, who has the best of everything and has NOTHING to complain about? I have wonderful friends, an amazing, witty, smart and loving husband, I grew up wanting for nothing, raised by incredibly caring, loving, and nurturing parents, the part of a close-knit family with siblings that drove me nuts (and vice-versa), but whom I would throw (and have thrown) bullies into a dumpster for - why do I care about a God or belonging to a faith? I guess I'm asking myself out loud and insistently now because I've taken on the role of Sammy's GodMother, but I've been struggling with Catholicism for a third of my life. Just when I thought I had it licked and was doing just fine sans religion, I met some amazing and actually approachable priests (I've met many who had no time for my silly questions growing up). I was pretty stunned to find out that they struggle with the same questions I do every day.

Look at this picture though. Is it any wonder I want to settle my religious identity problem so I can focus that extra ten percent of my energy on this gorgeous man and my adorable GodBaby?

Shannon and Samantha. Sammy is shocked to hear that her
Auntie Jo may identify more strongly with the Anglican faith than any other religion.
It has all of the "tinkles, bells, and smells" of the Catholic mass, but is far more inclusive.
And it's English.
Never mind the part about it's foundation being based on a king's desire for a divorce...

I do, however, appear to have a looooooooooooong way to go to thinking like a "good Catholic, " seeing as the Belief-O-Matic tells me that I have more that twice as much in common with Islam than I do with Catholicism. That isn't saying much because I only match 14% with the beliefs of Catholicism.

My BeliefNet "test" Results.
These have remained consistent every time they've tweaked the "exam":

1. Unitarian Universalism (100%)
2. Liberal Quakers (90%)
3. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (90%)
4. Neo-Pagan (80%)
5. Secular Humanism (78%)
6. New Age (77%)
7. Theravada Buddhism (76%)
8. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (75%)
9. Mahayana Buddhism (63%)
10. New Thought (63%)
11. Bah�'� Faith (63%)
12. Scientology (61%)
13. Taoism (57%)
14. Reform Judaism (55%)
15. Nontheist (53%)
16. Orthodox Quaker (53%)
17. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (48%)
18. Jainism (46%)
19. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (43%)
20. Hinduism (42%)
21. Jehovah's Witness (37%)
22. Sikhism (37%)
23. Orthodox Judaism (31%)
24. Islam (29%)
25. Seventh Day Adventist (25%)
26. Eastern Orthodox (14%)
27. Roman Catholic (14%)

I have no idea how to end this and it's way too long as it is. I think it's appropriate to end with a quote, the end of which my friend Katie taped to my door in Oxford for no apparent reason and I've kept ever since. I can understand why the Devil so envies the simple faith of the 18-stone merchant's wife, but if a god gave us these amazing minds to work with, would [s/he] want us to feel settled, contented and at ease "knowing" that we know god and so THAT's all settled!?

That's a whole 'nother blog.

"God preserve me from it, but one can't help complaining sometimes....One can see you are young. My dear fellow, intelligence isn't the only thing! I have naturally a kind and merry heart. ...Without criticism it would be nothing but one 'hosannah.' But nothing but hosannah is not enough for life, the hosannah must be tried in the crucible of doubt and so on, in the same style. ...If everything in the universe were sensible, nothing would happen. There would be no events without you, and there must be events. ... For all their indisputable intelligence, men take this farce as something serious, and that is their tragedy. They suffer, of course... but then they live, they live a real life, not a fantastic one, for suffering is life. Without suffering what would be the pleasure of it? It would be transformed into an endless church service; it would be holy, but tedious. But what about me? I suffer, but still, I don't live. I am x in an indeterminate equation. I am a sort of phantom in life who has lost all beginning and end, and who has even forgotten his own name. You are laughing- no, you are not laughing, you are angry again. You are for ever angry, all you care about is intelligence, but I repeat again that I would give away all this superstellar life, all the ranks and honours, simply to be transformed into the soul of a merchant's wife weighing eighteen stone and set candles at God's shrine."
- The Devil speaking to Ivan in Dostoyevsky's Brothers Karamazov

Girlie Pics! *insert wolf whistle here*

People from my last job will probably believe they were right for having thought I was gay for all those years (never dated, think Templars are cool, play video games, hate chick flicks, played D&D in high school, make out with women then never call...) after reading this post, but at least I never had people try to prove it on the internet.

I'm posting these two pics, to use my friend Mugsy's words, they ".... have nothing to do with anything other than I think they're cool and I like them." (I think it's appropriate to use his words because the second one is his (o:).

I wish our laundromat was this quiet so I could wash the clothes I'd worn in while I waited!
I would have brought a magazine, though. She looks like her imagination is keeping her very entertained. Mine would worry an absurd thought like a terrier until I was convinced that I was going to lose my job, all of my in-laws hated me, and I most closely resembled my brother Jimmy.

By the time the dryer buzzer went off, I would look more like this:

FunFact! - Did you know Tammy Faye Bakker is a gay icon?? The things I learn when I'm just trying to find funny pics for my blog!

Leave the Fredricks in the trash on the corner of Hollywood on Hollywood and Vine.
Ladies: if he doesn't think this look is 1,000 times more sexy than crotchless panties and a scratchy, pokey pee-a-boo bra, kick him to the curb - but keep his shirt!

Congrats, Mugsy, on taking the sexiest pic on the Webbernet!

I'll say this pic's related to the first in that the shirt just came out of the dryer, for those of you who require some kind of continuity.

Have a fabulous weekend!


Will Kill For This Coat

My parents recently returned from a trip to New York where they went to celebrate their anniversary (HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, MOMSTER AND PAPA SCHUETTER!!!!). My dad brought me back a a flyer he'd gotten from the Metropolitan Museum of Art during their stay. There had been a special exhibit of rock'n'roll fashion going on at the museum while they were there, and the flyer contained pictures from the exhibit, including this one:

This is the coat that David Bowie wore on the cover of Earthling. Not my favorite album, I prefer his earlier stuff, but the album cover graced my ceiling collage until I moved out, um, the second time.

I believe this is the coat the spurred my love of long jackets and my subsequent quest for the perfect long jacket, which, as Shannon can attest to, has been going on far too long.

David Bowie in the 70's in the concert that spurred his Quest for the Perfect Jacket.
Thank god he finally found it and was able to finally cover his Thin White ass.

David Bowie striking a Nosferatu pose before deciding this wasn't The Jacket.
He ended up giving it to Keanu Reeves.

David Bowie mocking Madonna.
This has nothing to do with the Quest for the Jacket.

David Bowie alerting his music deafened fans to please stop sending him jackets. His wife, Angie, was getting fed up with the steady inflow of outerwear from well-meaning fans.
His fans mistook this gesture to mean "I haven't found it yet!" and the number of parcels doubled.

Angie left less than a month later.

David Bowie realizing, in the middle of a concert with tag victim Annie Lennox,
that the mint green coat he's wearing is NOT The Jacket.
He cancelled the rest of the tour and went shopping.


Women Of the World! Raise Your Full Wallets!

DeBeers has made a brilliant (pun intended) move. The diamond industry is focusing it's marketing eye on "you independent women!" by advertising the diamond right hand ring.

Why a Right Hand Ring?
You've Earned it!
You're Left Hand Feeds the Family
Your Right Hand Takes the Cake
Your Left Hand Knows the Limits
Your Right Hand Knows no Boundaries
Your Left Hand Holds the Keys
Your Right Hand Drives the Car
Your Left Hand Weeds the Garden
Your Right Hand Picks the Flowers
Treat yourself... you've earned it!
Right hand rings express you!

...What does that even mean?!??!?

Sarah Jessica Parker, Julia Roberts, Halley Barry, Jessica Alba, Lindsay Lohan, and Victoria-Posh Spice-Beckham are all sportin' the bling on their right hands, because they're really really independent, free-thinking, and super-cool. Not, of course, because they were given to them by the diamond company! Nooo-hoooo!!

I'll admit it is a brilliant marketing scheme. Single women - wear 'em because you don't need a man to be awesome! Married women - wear 'em because you are so much more than just a wife!

I'm going to do a little inadvertent free marketing by linking to this site because these rings really are gorgeous, and just seeing them will make you want one. Just remember that the diamond industry is not really celebrating your individuality at all - they're celebrating the fact that women have money, too, and they can increase their profits by at least half if every woman buys one of these things. DeBeers is going Hallmark on a huge scale, creating a need where none exists for a really expensive product. If you want to buy yourself a ring, go ahead! But remember that you don't need one. You don't need to prove anything to anyone - least of all the diamond industry.

Hallmark has been marketing celebrations of all kinds - real and imagined - by creating holidays (Boss' Day, Sweetest Day, Grandparent's day, and Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day), and by making what used to be fun holidays like Halloween and Christmas a total nightmare for many people because they feel that if they're not spending enough, people won't think they care enough. If they cared enough, they'd "send the very best," and the very best costs money. The diamond industry is attempting to do the same by making women feel they need to spend a ton of money on a piece of jewelry. Men have been made to feel they must buy chocolates and flowers on "holidays" like Valentine's Day and Sweetest Day for years.

If you love someone, it shows every day, not twice a year in February and October. If you love and respect yourself, you don't have to prove it to the world by wearing something flashy on your right hand.

Where did all the curves go??

I have the hardest time finding a pair of jeans that fit. After spending the equivalent of the price of a really good pair of jeans on over 20 pair in thrift stores, I decided it was time to actually buy a new, decent pair.

Some time ago, after doing extensive research on the Webbernet, I made the terrible terrible mistake of ordering a pair of jeans off of EBay. After visiting dozens of sights and learning all about fits called Marissa and Mercer and Vashon and Blakely and Classic and Bremerton and Natural and Baggy and Boyfriend and Straight and Loose and Trouser and Christie and Kate and Bridget and Muse and Socialite and Ryan and Martin and Harrison and Contoured and Chelsea and Cigarette and Slim and Honey and Lover and Provocateur and Starlet and Twiggy and Rocker and Low Rise and Ultra-Low Rise and Miss Me and Guess Foxy and Blossom Wonder and Lacey Wonder and Stretch and Silver Tuesday 22 and 'Lil Emerald and Hazy Wonder and Classic Bootleg and Emerald Classic Bootleg Stretch and !IT Diva and 'Lil Magic and BKE Culture 21 and Big Star Casey 20 and Fleur Classic and Slouch and Skinny and Military and Outlaw and 503 and Slouch Straight and Boy Cut and 504 Cinch Back and 513 and 501 and Superlow and Nomad and Skimmer and Swank and and Original and Premium Ultimate and 545 and 515 and 525 and 505 and Relaxed and 542 and Premium City and ....... the list goes on and on and ON.

At times I didn't know if I was looking for jeans, a Hip Hop artist's directory ('Lil Magic, Honey), had accidentally logged on to a men's dating service looking for a hot date (Bridget, Ryan), was comparing aircraft vehicles (501-545), had stumbled onto an orchid seller's site (Guess Foxy, Blossom Wonder), or was researching fuel types (Premium Ultimate).

After agonizing and comparing for weeks on end, I finally settled on Joe's Jeans in "Socialite." Joe's Jeans appear to be extremely popular, got high ratings, most large department stores carry them, and they come highly recommended. "Socialite" was labelled their "classic fit," which I mistakenly interpreted as normal, ie: Covering my ass completely but coming up so high on the waist as to make people mistake me for Ed Grimley.

But none of that really meant a thing to me - I was sold on them as soon as I found out they came in a shade of blue named "Bowie." How could I resist a pair of jeans the color of the Thin White Duke's right eye??!?

This particular pair of jeans retails in stores for the insane price of $174. I found a pair, NWT, on EBay for under $60 - WITH shipping!! WOO HOO!! As confident as I was that all of my research efforts would pay off, however, I did make certain that my seller had a return policy.

They arrived about 4 days later, and when I pulled them on, they FIT!!! (Joe's Jeans sizes by waist (!??!!?) so I had made my best guess).

HOWEVER, they didn't even cover my hip bones. Before the zipper was all the way up the length of it's 7 teeth, it was down again and the jeans were back in the packaging they'd arrived in all ready to be returned.

It was horrible. Nobody but NOBODY should EVER have to see me wearing a pair of jeans that hits 6 inches below my navel. Ever.

Unless I'm wearing a long t-shirt that hits mid-thigh! This burst of optimism is the reason they went back into the packaging immediately. If given the chance to think about it, I might have rationalized keeping them for the fact that they are Bowie-colored jeans that technically fit. I could wear with long shirts!

I've noticed that the style of jeans lately is, well, at the very least unfortunate, but at the most just gross. Either the plumbing colleges have been graduating female students by the buttloads, I mean, boatloads over the past few years, or jeans are just too freaking low. Couple that with a short top and I'm seeing way too much unattractive, pasty, doughy skin - a great diet plan for me, turns out! The best women can hope for is that they will not be required to sit for the duration of the time they're wearing these ultra-low-hip-hugger-Twiggy-style jeans, that they can just stand against a wall, suck in their tummies and look hot until they absolutely have to sit down or pass out. Then they leave fashionably early, or take half-hour bathroom break just to take a break and sit on the toilet.

I realize that every generation has a style that is downright ugly or makes the wearer, no matter how gorgeous, look unattractive, even sleazy. If people want to buy into it, that's fine. My complaint is I cannot, for the life of me, find a pair of jeans with a zipper over 3 inches long - new or used.

I'm convinced that this horrible fad was started by someone more cunning than me to make sure that her man is looking at NO-ONE but her.

If you have any suggestions as to brands that hit near to just under the navel, please send them my way!

"Kill Harry Potter!" says Eoin Colfer

Stephen King, shown here trying to look as benign, cute, and boyish as the cutest widdle kitten oh, yes he is! and John Irving, the author who's books are so good John Lithgow agreed to appear in drag in one of the movie adaptations have asked author JK Rowling to spare Harry Potter's life after the famous British author cryptically stated that two of the beloved characters will die in the last book - one of whom may be the lightning-bolt emblazoned protagonist himself.

Harry Potter shown here trying to make Cho Chang jealous with one of those Beauxbatons sluts

Author Eoin Colfer disagrees and believes Harry should "bite it" in this ("HOPEFULLY!!!") final installment of the beloved series. He says he feels strongly about this because if Harry's killed now, in his prime, the boy magician will be forever remembered and mourned, his legacy living on until the end of time like....Morrison, without the drugs; Jimi Hendrix, without the drugs; or Jimmy Dean, without the fast car - all of whom are remembered forever young, in the prime of their lives, and at the height of their careers. Jimmy Dean has even pothumously developed talent that he never had! If Harry grows old, Colfer argues, lives a quiet life, maybe develops a paunch - he's doomed to be remembered like Elvis "The King" Presley who, as Denis Leary is fond of pointing out, isn't remembered as "The Pelvis" anymore by anyone under the age of 80, but rather as the fat guy in sequins who died on the toilet.

Some speculate that Colfer's wishes for Harry Potter's demise aren't nearly so benevolent. His Artemis Fowl series has been consistently outsold by Harry Potter by about 14 gabazillion copies to one (rough estimate), even though "it's a really good series! It IS! and not one, not ONE movie in the works!"

When asked how he feels about the fact that most of the planet can correctly pronounce "Hermione" while 99% of the same polled slaughtered his first name, "Eoin," more brutally than any telemarketer could do, he lit up a cigarette, stormed out of the room, then stormed back in and kicked the interviewer on the leg, leaving this bruise:

Stephen King admitted that he didn't really care if Harry Potter lived or died, "It's just that, well, it really just doesn't matter anymore. He's too old already and he's seen too much to be the least bit freaked out by even my creepiest character, Pennywise! I mean what's a razer-toothed clown in comparison with He Who Shall Not Be Named?? That's one creepy-ass bastard, I tell you what. Keeps me up at night. Let the kid live a nice quiet life far from the Dudleys."

Pennywise shown here pouting after hearing that King didn't think he was nearly as as creepy as He Who Should Not Be Named

The Flying Buttresses Present : "Om!"

The world-famous Flying Buttresses Improvisation Troupe will be performing at the Beat Kitchen this Sunday afternoon, August 6, at 2PM. Come ready to be inspired, to laugh, to be uplifted, to enjoy a full belly full of yummy pub food which you will so generously purchase from our wonderful sponsor, to feel a part of the community, to drink your choice of beverage from the bar in support of our wonderful sponser, to recharge your karma, and to leave a better person.

The Flying Buttresses do not believe that money can buy happiness, therefore there will be no charge for this blissfull event. Except for that which is charged for the plentiful food and beverage offered from our wonderful sponsor.

The Beat Kitchen is located at 2100 W. Belmont, Chicago. We will provide plenty of street parking for your convenience.