Wednesday, December 29, 2004


Well, Christmas Eve was not uneventful. As expected, Angel jumped all over Spike as soon as he got out of his box. Looks like he had been planning his moves all that time.

Spike quickly gained the upper hand. He's wily like that. He started calling Angel a "great poof" and trying to stab him with a knife.

Next thing we all knew, they had become friends, and were sharing a wee doobie and a teeny-tiny bottle of whiskey. Will wonders never cease? I do not know what happened there, but when I woke up Christmas morning, my dining room table was covered with little butts and Spike was nowhere to be found. I hope he comes back soon. I miss the little guy.


Last night, I had something of a revelation. On the advice of a friend, I used a lovely Barnes and Noble gift card to buy the book Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss. Like any sane person, I wondered how a book about punctuation could possibly be a page-turner. But lo, it is. I stayed up until the wee hours last night, reading it, nay, devouring it, and I finally feel, for the first time, that I am not alone. I am not alone in weeping for the demise of the English language. I am not alone in secretly carrying sticky-notes to stealthily correct the punctuation on signs. I am not alone when I bristle at the pummeling our language is taking thanks to the email revolution.

Lynne Truss is my new hero. She suggests that all of those who have told people like me to "get a life" are self-justifying Philistines. We, the grammar sticklers, are not a bunch of priggish pedants who look down our noses. We are simply great lovers of the English language. We understand its power when properly used, and its power to confuse when mangled by an ignoramus. Lynne suggests that all of the sticklers need to come out of the closet, and gently correct things that are not so; to stand up and say, "It's not OK!"

I have been railed against by certain family members for correcting the spelling and punctuation on their websites. These are professional websites that damn well should be correct. "I will fix your car's." just looks stupid. That's right, I'm saying it out loud. It LOOKS STUPID, and it makes you look stupid. Never mind that it is just wrong. It's wrong, and no amount of apathy will make it right. But it's MY fault for pointing that out? NAY! NAY, I say!

Our educational system is so focused on self-esteem that it is forgetting to educate children. Demanding proper grammar does not, I repeat, DOES NOT hinder self-expression! Quite the contrary, I think. Proper grammar allows a child to express herself more accurately and more fully, and dare I say, allows for greater understanding by her audience. Isn't that the goal of language? Isn't it? Am I on drugs? What's happening here?

When newspaper editors can no longer figure out the apostrophe, we are in serious trouble. I am not suggesting that the language be held captive. I know as well as anyone that a living language is dynamic. But these simple printers' marks are necessary for our understanding!

No longer will I sit idly by while the humble apostrophe gets abused. I will not watch Starsky and Hutch while our language degenerates into mere grunts. I'm taking up my Sharpie in defense of my cherished language, and I'm coming after the Philistines. So get your "its" and "it's" straight or you'll find me at your door with a red pen. Because I will not be alone.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004


In an effort to make up for being such a bad boy, Spike is trying to ingratiate himself to me in the most vulgar and insincere ways. First, he tried to give me a Christmas present.

Then, I found him reading a book of etiquette. It's going to take more than this to improve his abysmal table manners.

And I KNOW he's faking. I know it. I found him sleeping like this. But look at the little angel. Just look at him.

Friday, December 17, 2004


A Brief History of Altoona, PA

In approximately 1500 AD, a small group within the Cherokee group of native Americans decided to split off from the main tribe. Led by a grumbly old man named Wears-Tube-Socks and his wife, Pale Fish, they were dissatisfied with the direction of current Cherokee culture and felt the time had come to form their own settlement. This small group was of the opinion that Cherokee food of the time was far too spicy and tasteful, and the clothing too colorful. Complete blandness was their raison d'etre, and so off they journeyed into the unforgiving wilderness. For five full years, this rogue band of malcontents roamed the pristine Pennsylvania landscape until they found the perfect spot: A lush, verdant valley filled with abundant wildlife, cool streams, and several Sheetz markets convenient to their location. It was here that they would forge their new lives. They promptly named the area "Altoona," which, in their language, means "the parking lot between two mountains."

Here, under the unremarkable leadership of Wears-Tube-Socks and his descendants, Still-Drives-A-Camaro and Mullet-Head, the new tribe flourished. They called themselves The Hibachis. They spoke little of interesting things and enjoyed many a potluck. They feared strangers and had no particular desire to explore. In fact, they had no desire to know anything new, ever.

Then, in1821, a band of weary prospectors arrived in Altoona. The Hibachis had never seen the white man before, but found them wholly uninteresting. The white men attempted to befriend the tribe, but the natives would only grunt and blink. It seemed, at this point, that they had completely lost the ability to communicate, at all. The new arrivals were most amazed to find that the tribe existed on a diet consisting of bologna, toast, and miniature cocktail wieners, and spent every evening wordlessly staring at each other. Undaunted but slightly freaked out, the prospectors set up camp and began their quest for fortune.

One day, as the prospectors toiled away, something amazing happened. One of them, a small man named Joe Whitebread, stumbled upon the richest vein of Pork Rinds ever discovered in the New World. News spread quickly and the area was immediately overrun by pioneers with big dreams and loud corporate rock music. It was only then that the Hibachis began to take notice.

One of the daughters of Mullet-Head, a wide woman named Sits-On-A-Barcolounger, went to her father with great concern. She managed to communicate to him, with small grunts and pops, that she was afraid that the white men would somehow manage to take away all of the pork rinds, and leave them with nothing. Mullet-Head agreed that something had to be done.

Mullet-Head went out among the whites and reluctantly learned the barest modicum of social skills. He began to interact with the whites and soon found that they were weak, and hell-bent on taking away every last pork rind. Mullet-Head tried to explain his tribe's dependence upon The Great Rind Vein, or in his language, "El Nino", but the whites were unsympathetic. "When we arrived, yunz showed us no friendship, no hospitality. Now we will take your pork."

And thus began the Great Lard War of 1825.

The war was neither long nor bloody, as the natives really didn't give a shit. Not when there was such good TV. Even Mullet-Head soon lost interest and went back to his regular routine of picking his nose while he watched Starsky and Hutch. Sits-On-A-Barcolounger had found true love in the backseat of a TransAm and no longer cared much for war.

Eventually, the races began to mix, all animosity forgotten. The settlers took on many of the slovenly ways of the Hibachis, including their strange grunting language, and the Hibachis were really diggin' on Styx.

The new town moved forward, in this way. Few outsiders dared venture into the scary land and so it is to this day. The culture remains a mix of The Hibachi Tradition and the followers of Joe Whitebread. English is no longer spoken, but is sung in the town's anthem, "Carry On, My Wayward Son."

Thursday, December 16, 2004


So, I keep getting ideas for good posts. Pithy topics about which I feel most passionate, but I always decide to refrain from posting them and put up pictures of Spike or favorite lists instead. I never feel like I have desire or energy for a big political or otherwise provocative post. Does this make me terribly shallow?

Monday, December 13, 2004


Look, I should have known that bringing Spike into the house was going to cause trouble. Seemed like he was on his best behavior for a little while, but he has gone back to his old tricks. Last night I caught him looking for a bite-able spot on Darth Vader. He says he was just helping him shine up his helmet, but I don't think I believe him.

And when I woke up this morning, I found that he had been on an all-night bender with little airplane-sized bottles of liquor. I don't know how he got into the cabinet, or why he chose to pass out in my clean laundry pile.

Sunday, December 12, 2004


Just for fun, and better organization, I now have a second blog. I surmise it won't be very interesting to anyone who reads this one because it is going to ba all about crafts. Anyway, if you care to see it, here it is: Crafty Salty Cat.

Saturday, December 11, 2004


What do you think of my sparkly new template? I am now, officially, a grand master of HTML.


Hi Y'all. I just thought I'd let everyone know that I'm now posting as Kristine. There are a few good reasons for this, but none of them are interesting enough to bother typing out. The ol' blog will still be called Willow, or something like it. I'm thinking of making it Willow Crossing. Haven't decided that yet. Hmph.

Thursday, December 09, 2004


OK. I'm a freak. I just sepnt the last 20 minutes playing with Spike, and what I'm finding is, I like him, despite his too-square jaw. He seems to be entertaining me. Anyway, see what you think. Should I keep him? Click on the picture for more pictures!

Wednesday, December 08, 2004


Spike arrived today. He came in a GIGANTIC box, along with a veritable army of minions in the form of styrofoam peanuts. He doesn't look as much like Spike as the internet photo suggested. He's a bit of a disappointment, and I don't know what to do. Maybe I'll hang onto him for a year and then sell him on eBay at a profit. Pictures of William the Bloody Let-Down to follow tomorrow.

Here's my action figure letdown Haiku:

William the Bloody.
He Came in the Mail Today.
Looks Nothing Like Him.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Joyeux Noel

Since Halloween, my anger buffer has been filling up, due in large part to the onslaught of Christmas music in the stores. Never mind how much I despise the commercialization of Christmas. Never mind that it's all about greed. That's another rant. This is about the music. Why does it have to suck? Really. Why? Here are my top five most hated Christmas songs. Whenever I hear these, I want to Bah Humbug somebody's face.

5. I'm Gettin' Nuttin' for Christmas (Damn right, you're not.)
4. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus (Never cute, never funny.)
3. Feliz Navidad (NO! Enough already!)
2. Wonderful Christmastime (What the fuck is this song? Just what?)
1. Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer (For the love of all things holy, make it stop! Are there really people out there who think this is funny? If there are, they must all live in Altoona.)

Saturday, December 04, 2004


I saw an Old Navy ad last night, and it stated that they now have legwarmers. My first thought was, "When do I have time to get over to Old Navy before they are all picked over?" I admit it, I love legwarmers, no matter how Olivia-Newton-John-roller-discoing-in-Xanadu they may be. I can't wait to get me some. I hope they have some stripey ones. I will wear them under my long skirts all winter and nobody will know why I'm so smiley and warm.


An important message about spyware from Data Nazi.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004


For the sheer fun of wasting time, here is what my desk looks like at this very moment. Note the ever-present glass of iced tea, and burning candle.


I just got an email that my Spike Action Figure has been shipped. As it turns out, I am one very lucky geek. There are only 7500 of those in the whole world, and there are very few left. Thank heaven for the geeks of NextGen Toys in Gaithersburg, MD.

On the way home from Greensburg last night, I discovered that I was having the beginning of a sickness. I felt the tingliness of a fresh sore throat. I did everything in my power last night to stop the onslaught, including wrapping myself in blankies, drinking Emergen-C and Ginger Tea, and sleeping in, but apparently, to no avail. I woke this morning with the inability to speak and a BADASS sore throat. I hope I can at least use all of my organic miracle herbs to make it not last so long.

To add insult to injury, I think I picked up this bug at my friend's party on Saturday night, from a liberal elitist academic, who was too sick to be partying. So I have a scholarly bug. That sucks. I wish he had been a scientist instead of a music professor.

If left unchecked, I capitalize using German grammar. Why?