Category Archives: Life

Adventures of the Struggling Writer — Day 8

Before I begin discussion on various breeds of chickens suitable for backyard raising, allow me to present Mr. Neil Patrick Harris, doing what he does best—singing, dancing, and looking all kinds of hawt!

You know that saying, “I would go gay for you?”  Well, I guess it works in this case for NPH as well.  Except in my case, I need an additional caveat, e.g. “I would become a man and go gay for you!”

I digress.  Let me return to the focus of this post, Tina Fey & NPH—I mean, chickens.  Now that I’ve done sufficient research into the type of chicken coop the hubby and I will build (it’s going to be the Rolls Royce of chicken coops, I tell you . . . ok, maybe more like a Toyota), I now need to dive headfirst into the world of chicken breeds.  Now, I don’t know about you, but I was mighty ignorant before engaging in this research.  I didn’t realize there were multiple breeds of chicken.  In retrospect, of course, that makes perfect sense.  Indeed, I believe that many people shared my belief—there is but one breed of chicken that lays eggs, and it is the chicken that is on the cover of the Foster Farms bag.  You know, this one:

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But in all seriousness, I didn’t think that all chickens looked like this cartoonish chicken with a massively engorged, bright red, waddle.  I wasn’t born yesterday, people.  Rather, I figured most egg-laying chickens looked more like this:

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Now, imagine my shock and awe when I discovered that there are literally hundreds of breeds of chickens.  Chickens are kind of like other domesticated animals—they come in all different shapes, colors, and sizes.  To narrow down the field to the most qualified contestants, I consulted My Pet Chicken and its handy-dandy “Which Breed is for You?” tool to create the finalists for Ms. Backyard Fowl USA.  Drum roll please.

Contestant Number 1 is named Australorp.  A chick hailing from the badlands of Australia, Ms. Australorp loves to have a good time.  She does well in all climates, takes fondling quite well, but yet is also shy and docile.  Considered “sweet and shy” by My Pet Chicken, Ms. Australorp’s best feature appears to be her ability to lay ginormous brown eggs—about 5 a week.

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Contestant Number 2 is named Delaware.  As you probably guessed, Ms. Delaware hails from that little state you barely go through from DC to NY where meth addicts walk around the rest stop, asking you for money for gas, because they lost their “college credit card,” and you end up giving them a $10 because that was the smallest bill you had and you were frightened of pregnant meth-face and her methy boyfriend.  I digress.  Ms. Delaware is a plus-sized beauty, who is quiet, friendly, and calm.  Not quite as adept as her Australian competitor, Ms. Delaware only pops out about 4 eggs a week.  Her white feathers make her look much like Ms. Foster Farms, whose wings go very well with Frank’s Hot Sauce and butter.

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Contestant Number 3 is named Ms. Easter Egger.  I’m not kidding, folks—Ms. Easter Egger must have quite the sense of humor.  Boasting a much slender frame than her plus-sized competitors, Ms. Easter Egger is a fun chick, who isn’t afraid to be dominated, as she bears confinement and handling quite well.  Ms. Easter Eggers produces about 4 beautiful greenish/bluish eggs a week.

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Contestant Number 4 hails from France, and is named Ms. Faverolles.  While her competitors have only 4 toes, the feisty Frenchie has 5 slender toes to stomp out her competition.  Her competition may spend much of the year brooding at home, but Frenchie would rather be out on solo excursions.  Frenchie lays about 4 eggs a week, of medium size.  Perhaps what is most striking about Frenchie is her neck.  I’m growling just thinking about it.

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Finally, and bringing up the rear, Contestant Number 5 is a Star.  No, really.  Ms. Star is considered an “excellent layer.”  Cue the jokes.  Consistent with her excellent laying abilities, Ms. Star is quite the friendly chick, docile to handlers, and loves to lay big brown eggs (5 a week, in fact).  Covered in beautiful black feathers, Ms. Star is one hot chick.

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So now that the competition is set, time to pick our birds.  What hot chicks will win the grand prize of living in my parents’ backyard?

This has inspired yet another genius idea for scriptwriting.  NPH and Tina Fey, email me.  I’ve got your WGA/Golden Globe/Emmy in my brain.  And I’ll let you have it for free.

Discover me, Tina Fey & NPH!!!

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Filed under Discover Me, Life, Plea to NPH, Plea to Tina Fey

Adventures of the Struggling Writer — Day 7

I consider myself to be a person of well-rounded capabilities and interests.  So when my folks mentioned that they wanted to raise chickens, I immediately pounced on the idea.

This isn’t my family’s first foray into egg and poultry farming.  When I was younger (the exact time period escapes me, since my innate abilities to block out unpleasantries has clouded my memory), my parents owned chickens.  We all schlepped down to a farm in the South Bay to pick up some fruit trees and some chicks.  I don’t recall the details of the chick acquisition, but I do remember when the chickens invaded our backyard.  Prior to the arrival of the talon-wielding, perpetually-shitting, predators of all that is clean, I loved our backyard.  I would kick soccer balls and throw tennis balls into a net on one side of the yard.  I played basketball as James Naismith originally envisioned–chucking a basketball into a crate doubling as a hoop.  I even had an old skateboard, discovered at the Toys R Us for the creative (aka the dump), which I used to mindlessly roll around in circles on the paved square of the yard.

After invasion, however, I never set foot into that yard.  The thought of these nasty creatures, crapping all over the place, feverishly dipping their heads forward while armed with their pointy beaks, and shedding their feathers inevitably coated with even more crap—well, let’s just say that this kid didn’t want anything to do with these fowl incubators for avian flu.  My parents, however, had much higher aspirations for the birds.  Every day, they would go out into the yard and scour the grounds for treasures left behind by the birds—not the shit, but rather the eggs.

The birds of my childhood were not great egg-layers.  I recall my folks being disappointed with the number of eggs.  The eggs we did obtain were oddly-colored (or so I thought at that age).  Green tinted, with outrageously orangey yolks, I never ate those eggs.  I thought they were nasty.  I much preferred the eggs purchased en masse at the store—you know, the eggs produced by chickens stuffed with antibiotics and corn products, who have never seen the sun, have had their beaks clipped, and spend their short lives popping out eggs in a horrendously confined space?  Yeah, I liked those eggs.  They were white; they were uniform; they were predictable.  My parents, however, loved the eggs produced by our chickens.  They boasted of the amazing flavors of the fresh eggs.  I made wretched faces in response, boldly proclaiming that I would never touch those salmonella-filled harbingers of death.

Then, one day.  The chickens were gone.  Perhaps they disappeared the same day we had roasted chicken for dinner.  I didn’t eat that night.

Fast forward to today, where I am now on a quest to help build the most fantastic chicken coop for my folks.  A chicken coop that will make other chickens cluck in jealousy.  There is quite a bit of information on the ‘Net for people interested in building their own backyard chicken coops.  In fact, local newsman Dan Ashley had this report on the rise of Urban Chickens.  Featured in that report were Paul Canavese and Ann Naffziger, an Alameda couple who raise their own backyard chickens (that yield approx. 1900 eggs a year).  I did a little Web-stalking and found their web site as well.

Based on my research, I will need to first build (or buy) a chicken coop, and then purchase chicks.  As for building a chicken coop, there are quite a few considerations.  I’ve seen blueprints, instructions, and/or basic pictures of sample coops built by others on the popular site, Backyard Chickens.  From what I understand, there are some basic rules to follow in cooping:

  1. Protection:  Your birds need to be protected from the elements and potential predators.  The weather around here is incredibly mild, so we’ll just need something that will keep the birds dry when it rains, and to keep out any unwanted predators (are there raccoons in the Bay?).
  2. Ventilation:  A chicken with fresh air is a happy chicken.  And happy chickens produce a crapload of eggs, rather than just crap.
  3. Light:  For optimum egg-laying, chickens also need sunlight.  The windows of the coop should thus be facing the south, to ensure maximum chicken tanning.  Kind of like Snooki on Jersey Shore.  Can I get a fist pump for fake and bake chickens?
  4. Proper Placement of Food & Water:  Chickens apparently like to scratch at everything, including their food.  So a good coop has food and water placed just high enough that the chicken can eat/drink, yet are unable to get their grimy claws in.
  5. Proper Height of Coop:  You also want the coop to be off the ground to keep puddles from forming when it rains.  Can you imagine what happens if rainwater mixes with chicken shit and ferments over the winter months?  Yikes.
  6. Size:  Chickens are like people.  They need their space from other chickens.  I lived in a 9 ft X 12 ft cell in law school (with cinder block walls–not dissimilar to prison).  Chickens, being significantly smaller than me, only need about 5 sq ft per bird in the coop, and another 8-10 sq ft outside the coop.
  7. Nests:  The coop also needs to contain nests for the birds to lay their eggs in.  Basic straw will do.
  8. Ingenuity:  Finally, the coop needs to be easily cleaned.  Birds crap a lot.  And I mean a lot.  You’ll need to build a coop that can easily be hosed down, e.g. with a removable floor.  Get some rubber gloves.  Because cleaning the shit will be as nasty as it sounds.

That’s it for coop-building.  Perhaps tomorrow, I will research the types of chickens to obtain.  How disturbing would it be if we got the chicks and named them Tyson, Purdue, and Foster Farms?  Awesome.

Oh, and if NPH or Tina Fey want some fresh eggs, contact me in about 3 months.  I can ship you some eggs, wrapped in a beautiful script.

Discover me, Tina Fey & NPH!!!

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Filed under Life, Plea to NPH, Plea to Tina Fey

Adventures of the Struggling Writer — Day Two

I am quite opinionated, although I haven’t voiced those opinions on this blog since that idiot from Alaska insulted me with her unending presence on television.  I am a struggling writer, and I derive much of my inspiration from current events.  I must weigh in on the mammogram controversy, or, as I like to call it, “How 16 ‘Experts’ Became My Insurer’s Best Friends.”

As everyone now knows, a federal advisory board has issued a new recommendation on mammograms—put bluntly, the board rescinded the prior recommendation that women in their 40s should get mammograms yearly (or every other year).  Instead, the board now recommends that women 50 and older get mammograms every two years.

Breast cancer afflicts hundreds of thousands of women every year.  Chances are, you or someone you know has suffered from the disease.  It is common knowledge that the rate of mortality for the disease significantly decreases if the disease is caught in its early stages—and one of the most effective tools to that end is the mammogram.  Indeed, as acknowledged by the board, “Breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death among women in the United States.  Widespread use of screening, along with treatment advances in recent years, have been credited with significant reductions in breast cancer mortality.”

So why, then, is the board suddenly turning a 180 on early screening—when that very screening reduces mortality?  Well, the board apparently is primarily concerned about a woman’s psychological well-being.  From the report:

The harms resulting from screening for breast cancer include psychological harms, unnecessary imaging tests and biopsies in women without cancer, and inconvenience due to false-positive screening results. Furthermore, one must also consider the harms associated with treatment of cancer that would not become clinically apparent during a woman’s lifetime (overdiagnosis), as well as the harms of unnecessary earlier treatment of breast cancer that would have become clinically apparent but would not have shortened a woman’s life. Radiation exposure (from radiologic tests), although a minor concern, is also a consideration.

Let’s examine the secondary concerns, namely “overdiagnosis,” “earlier treatment” and “radiation exposure.”  These concerns exist independently from the efficacy of a mammogram.  In other words, the issue the board appears to have is not with the ability of the mammogram to detect cancer—rather, they fear that some health professionals may take an overly aggressive approach after seeing ambiguous signs of cancer through a mammogram.  If the issue is with the risk of an overly aggressive assault on maybe-cancer, then the board may be warranted in issuing recommendations on those procedures, not the mammogram itself.

The primary concerns, however, have to do with the board’s incredibly patronizing views regarding a woman’s psychological well-being.  Namely, the board does not want to subject women in their 40s to “unnecessary imaging tests” and “unnecessary . . . biopsies” and “inconvenience.”  The board doesn’t seem to dispute the fact that breast cancer is frequently diagnosed in women in their 40s.  Rather, the board seems to be saying that not enough women in their 40s are diagnosed to justify the necessity of mammograms, so to avoid the psychological strain of having mammograms, let’s just do away with them altogether until you’re in an even higher risk group.  Well, I think that the members of this esteemed board (none of whom, by the way, are oncologists), can suck it.  When I’m 40, if I want to endure the psychological turmoil of having my boobs pressed like a panini so I can avoid death by breast cancer, I’m going to do it.  I understand there are false positives.  My damn doctor has told me about the risk of false positives.  I can handle that.  You know what my mental health cannot handle?  Waiting until I’m 50 to get a mammogram and hoping that the cancer has not already afflicted my boobs (or lymph nodes—don’t forget those, ladies), like it has hundreds of thousands of women before me in their 40s.  Alternatively, my mental health can’t handle my insurance company quoting your recommendation and rejecting my claim because my mammogram is medically “unnecessary.”

So for the esteemed 16 members of this board, sleep easy knowing that millions of women (and their boobs) think you suck, but at least the insurers love you.

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An Interruption in My Pleas

For those of you wondering where I currently live, check out the video below.  For those from California who are as ignorant about east coast geography as I once was, Arlington is located just across the river from DC in a region of the country known as the Mid-Atlantic.  This time of year, I’d like to call this area of the country, “back sweat.”  

And if you are Tina Fey NPH, feel free to return the favor and stalk me around my hood.  I’ve made a miniature version of my script, and I hide it in my bra like a dirty stripper with dolla dolla bills, so when I finally do see you, I’ll be prepared to astound you with my genius.  Discover me!

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10 Days for NPH — Day Six

The hubby went to Vegas this weekend for some Dude time and poker.  When I think of Vegas, I think of slots, sluts, and slits.  I’ve been to Vegas more times than I can conceivably count, but there are certain guarantees that will be met in a single trip to Vegas.  First, there will be debauchery.  Perhaps not from you, but you will certainly witness people engaged in behavior that mommy and daddy would not be terribly proud of.  Second, lots of money will be exchanged.  Perhaps you like to gamble, in which case the odds of you being on the receiving end of that money exchange will be low.  Perhaps you like to frequent the red light district, just off the strip.  Here too, the odds of you being on the receiving end of that money exchange will be low, unless, of course, you decide to allow HBO to film you while you are on your Bunny Ranch tryst—again, mummy and daddy won’t be so proud.

And alas, this brings me to the point of this post.  JT (the non-Timberlake JT) alerted me to this article in Time.  I can already envision him giggling as he read this article entitled, “From Bangkok to Berlin, Hard Times Hit the Sex Trade.”  The writers of this article used some choice language in discussing the financial woes of the world’s prostitutes, e.g. discussing prostitutes being “laid off,” noting that the “world’s oldest profession isn’t about to take the recession lying down,” and describing ways to “stimulate business.”  Given that this is Time magazine, and not the Onion, I imagine that the writers deliberately, but covertly, tried to insert this ambiguous language to give the dirty minds of the world something to giggle about.

There is one promotion discussed in the article that hit me hard.  Apparently, Berlin’s Pussy Club “charges guests a $98 flat rate for six hours of unlimited sex, access to a sauna and solarium and an all-you-can-eat buffet.”  Like whoa.  Basically, for just over $16 an hour, you get sexy time, sauna time, solarium time, and stuffed time.  How the hell can a place like this actually grow profits with prices like this?  After some thought, I realized what the Pussy Club was up to.  The Pussy Club was leveraging an analogous trick used by casinos all over the world.  Allow me to explain.

In virtually every casino (at least in the US), if you gamble, you get free liquor.  Now, the concept of free liquor is quite enticing to anyone, especially considering the fact that a single Sex on the Beach (the drink) can easily cost you $10 in Vegas—and that’s with the make-you-vomit, squirt bottle, well vodka.  So even if you’re not inclined to gamble, perhaps the thought of not paying for your crappy beverages will suffice to entice you to the epilepsy-inducing floor.  Alas, however, one should realize that the casinos are not exactly being philanthropic in their free alcohol offerings.  To the contrary, the alcohol not only induces additional gambling (meaning extra profits), but it also induces stupidity.  And if you’ve ever seen a Girls Gone Wild commercial (or Joe Francis), you’ll know what I mean.  And guess what?  Stupid people lose more money!

So what’s the analogous plan in the sex business, you ask?  The buffet!  Free food is incredibly enticing, no matter how bad the food is.  Just ask any of my college roommates about our weekend trips to Costco, where we gorged ourselves on such health-conscious dishes such as Bagel Bites, Teriyaki Chicken Wings, and Costco pound cake.  After about round 3, we were fat and full.  After loading up Timmy (the van that could) with groceries, we headed home and immediately fell asleep on the couch, drooling in our food coma stupor.  The Pussy Club is essentially engaging in the same type of plan.  Give patrons free food—and lots of it.  Because guess what?  

Drunk people are too stupid to win; and

Stuffed people are too full to f*#@.

So Barney Stinson, avoid the buffet.  It will only hamper your Rico Suave moves.

Discover me, Tina Fey NPH!!!

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10 Days for NPH — Day Five

It was bound to occur.  The perfect storm.  

On this rainy day in May, the first work day after a 3-day weekend, I entered the depths of the Metro, only to find a gaggle of people waiting for a train, which was obviously delayed.  I sighed and looked up at the marquee, to see that the next train would not arrive for another 9 minutes.  As I stood on the platform, I watched as hoards of other commuters came down onto the platform.  Finally, the train arrived, already packed with people.  Half the platform emptied, as commuters squeezed their ways into the already-packed trains anxious to make it to their destinations.  Rather than force  my way in, I waited for the next train, which was scheduled to arrive in another five minutes.  I patiently played sudoku on the platform, walking away from any individuals displaying symptoms of the swine flu.

Finally, the next train arrived.  Although stuffed with humanity, I reluctantly pushed my way in, as the next train would not arrive for another 7 minutes and would also be bound to be packed.  I positioned myself toward the opposite door, flanked by a plexiglass wall and the door, and I held on for dear life.  The train moved forward, herking and jerking about, stumbling toward the next stop.  Finally, after what seemed an eternity, we arrived at the Rosslyn stop, where even more individuals boarded the train.  A woman pressed up against me, and the perfume emanating from her body immediately swarmed into my nasal cavity.  I could taste the alcohol and artificial botanicals on my tongue.  The train doors closed.  We lurched forward, stopped, lurched, stopped, lurched, stopped.  I held on as best as I could, while attempting to hold my breath for fear that a deep inhalation would lead to the Metro shutting down because of me—that I would be the sick customer.

Finally, I arrived at my destination.  I burst out of the train and headed up the stairs as a warm feeling simmered under my breath.  As I emerged from the depths of the Metro, I ran toward the nearest garbage and puked my breakfast out, much to the horror of those around me.  I stood there for just a while longer, head down, panting in relief.  At that moment, I did not think of Tina Fey NPH.  I did not think of a life of Hollywood fame and fortune.  Amidst my puking stupor, a fellow commuter came up to me and asked, “Are you okay?”

My mission, buried beneath nausea and bile, became clear.  I channeled Tina Fey NPH and replied, “I’m awesome.”  (Then I rubbed a gallon of hand sanitizer over my hands that touched the nasty garbage can).  Savor my devotion.

Discover me, Tina Fey NPH!

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Filed under Legal Woes, Life, Plea to NPH, Plea to Tina Fey, WMATA - Metro

A Brief Interruption for Math/Logic

I present to you, my five readers, the following math/logic puzzle:

Paula 01Image Link

PLUS

Cup of CrazyImage Link

PLUS

Tanning BedImage Link

X 10

EQUALS

Faked & BakedImage Link

who has an uncanny resemblance to:

Wicked MusicalImage Link

which featured this Idol contestant:

GlambertImage Link

therefore, because Paula is:

NutsoImage Link

KRIS WINS!!

Kris "Makes the Ladies Swoon" AllenImage Link

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