Darling, There’s Something You Should Know

“Kes, darling, I’m legally obligated to inform you that I’m on several special intergalactic offender lists…”

If you’re not getting a serious “NO” feeling from this pic, you really should get a check-up from your family EMH. I’ll beat this one into the ground until there’s no breath left in my nerdy body: The pairing of Neelix and Kes was the creepiest May-December romance in the history of whatever Quadrant they were in. And I think this photo pretty much sums up the true extent of what I mean.


TrekCore yet again wins kudos for salvaging this one for their rare photos section. I even love the name they gave the image: “kes_and_neelix_rejected1.”

The Great White Hype Reality


I actually miss the days when the meteorologists in this area were always wrong. Used to be, they’d start hyping a snowstorm, only to have the predicted snowy deluge never materialize. I can remember several ocassions in which school systems shut down the night prior only to wake up to the rude reality that they closed for no reason whatsoever. No snow at all.

The meteorologists are starting to get better…and that sucks. They started predicting this storm at the beginning of this week. And they kept bumping the numbers each time they talked about it. 12 inches. 24 inches. 30 inches.

The storm started yesterday at around 11 a.m. I went into the office that morning, but when the president of the company came around and looked at me like I was crazy, I knew that it was okay to leave when the first flakes started to fall.

The snow finally stopped around 4 this evening. It was so blustery at points overnight that we awoke to a blanket of white over all the window screens and a pile of snow on the sidewalk that stood almost as high as the banister. I haven’t actually measured, but I can tell you that the snow drift I fell into when I was trying to check the phone lines at the back of the house came up above my knees. I’m going to venture a guess and say that we’ve got almost three feet. Some of the areas to the west got even more than that.

Like I said at the beginning, OMGWTFSNOW!

The last time we had a snow like this, I was about 12 years old. Actually, though, even that snow wasn’t this bad. This is now recorded in the history books as the fourth worst snowstorm in D.C. history.

I will grant you this…it is beautiful. I’ve taken quite a few photos since the storm began. I’d upload them, but they need to be resized and my main CPU is now off. The power started fluctuating sporadically around 3, so all essential electronics were clicked off at that point. The DSL also went out around noon. Followed by the phone lines at around 1. Both just came back about 20 minutes ago.

And of course my first thought was to come here to the lair and let its denizens know the 411 on my own personal white hell.

Can I just say now how much I’m dreading tomorrow morning? Sammy’s in about 4 feet of snow right now, thanks to drifting. And this is a heavy snow, denizens. Heavy, wet, clumpy snow. We’re going to be digging for most of the day, I believe.

The bonus? I strongly suspect that the federal government will be closed on Monday. Possibly even Tuesday.

Damn it feels good to be a contractor.

Anyway, so that’s where things are at Chez Loba. Now if you’ll excuse me, there’s a glass of wine waiting to be drunk and a cheesy 80s movie waiting to be watched. So I’m off…but only slightly…

GenX-cessive: Millionaire Matchmaker

Pimpin' ain't easy, Dawg

Don’t you just hate it when you finally make your millions and you’re all set to settle down with a gorgeous gold digger but you simply haven’t got the time (or personality) to go out there and snag one for yourself?

Have no fear! For a hefty fee, you can hire Bravo’s latest reality star, Patti Stanger (and her bodacious and completely real ta-tas), otherwise known as the Millionaire Matchmaker. What does she do for that fee? Verbally abuses a bunch of rich douchebags who typically have nothing else going for them beyond the fact that they have a million+ in their bank accounts, finds out what they’re looking for, and then berates them for their tastes.

She then gathers together a bunch of girls looking to bag themselves a rich douchebag, tosses out any girl who fails to pass her physical appraisal (but not before berating them for being too fat, too frumpy, too tacky, too manly, too matronly, too stupid, too whatever it is that she can find wrong with them), keeps the ones who look “exotic” or “classy” (which are apparently Stanger’s code word for “silicone tits” or “Botox Barbie”), and verbally abuses them as well as a means of coaching them in how they need to look and dress if they want to snag the millionaire in question (because who cares what you’re like on the inside?).

Then Stanger and her staff hold a little soiree in which the millionaire gets to mingle with Stanger’s herd of call girls, picks a couple they find the most aesthetically schwinging, does “mini dates,” and then narrows the choice down to one. The rich douchebag then gets verbally abused by Stanger some more before taking their choice on the “big date” to find out if it’s really a match made in heaven Beverly Hills.

What this show should really be called is I Pimp for Rich Douchebags.

Could you imagine the uproar that this show would have caused if, instead of Stanger, the Millionaire Matchmaker was a guy? Yet, because it’s a woman doing the pimping, that somehow makes it better? I don’t know. I don’t really feel all that much better or particularly empowered watching a woman berate other women because of how they look as she selects millionaire-grade breeding stock. Should I? Should I be rooting for these women, hoping that they can bag the millionaire and secure a life of luxury (or at least secure a few awesome dates in which they fly off in his personal jet for a picnic in Maui)? Is this the ultimate victory of all that bra burning and marching done by our predecessors in the fight for women’s rights? The right to unabashedly pimp your own for a massive fee?

True, sometimes the millionaires are women. But they are few and far between. And it doesn’t really make me feel any better knowing that there are just as many men as there are women who will gladly line up for Stanger’s pimp call. This isn’t the equality I was hoping to see in my lifetime.

This show actually makes me root for the recession, if only to diminish the number of people who can join Stanger’s “Millionaire Club”…which, in turn, would diminish her clientele and get her off the television that much faster.

Hen in the Fox House

Brace yourselves, ladies and gentlemen. I do believe the apocalypse is now in full swing. Sarah Palin has joined Faux News.

My respect for mainstream journalism in this country wanes steadily every passing day. I suppose Fox will tout the fact that Palin, in addition to having “knowledge” about “politics,” also has a “degree” in “journalism.”

I have a degree in “English.” That doesn’t make me the fucking queen.

You know what though? This is a perfect match-up. We live in a country in which utterly insipid things are considered newsworthy (and I think Palin definitely fits into the “utterly insipid” category along with all the other media-whoring piffle). The one radio station dedicated to local news sent me a “breaking news” update this weekend to inform me that Jay Leno’s primetime show was being canceled. It’s all about celebrity and celebreality in this country. So any wonder the beauty queen would get signed to Fox? They need some way to compete with the cheerleader over at the CBS news desk…although a little warning: The cheerleader drew blood the last time she met the beauty queen. You might want to keep them separated.

You Spin Me Right Round, Baby…

Want to hear how I temporarily closed down I-95 South and gave Sammy an early Christmas mud bath?

So today was a good day to travel, I thought. It’s the day before Christmas Eve, which I know is typically the popular travel day for people who travel for Christmas…which, thankfully, are far fewer people than those who travel on Turkey Day. I knew, however, that I should expect some rough riding at least until I was beyond the tenacious and ample mounds of snow that snaked up the I-95 corridor.

Truth. I sat for about 2 hours just trying to get onto I-95, then ended up in sluggish, sometimes stop-n-go traffic from the 495 merge until around about Kings Dominion. For those not in the know, that’s a hella long time. Thank goodness once again for my iPod and awesome podcasts.

Once I hit North Carolina, however, things were smooth as silk. The snow was gone, the temperature was wonderfully warm, and the sun was shining brightly and strongly down on Sammy’s sleek silver and salty frame. I cruised along at the lovely standard speed of 70 MPH (another reason to love NC!), listening to P!nk dissect her marriage and Suzie Plakson explain how she Didnwannadoit. Traffic had broken up and spread out, and I finally found myself all alone on my own personal stretch of the road.

This is probably the most serendipitous moment of my entire journey.

I noticed that a car was getting ready to merge onto the interstate, so I switched from the right lane to the left lane so that they would have a clean shot at the merge. Next thing I know, the driver is rocketing straight from the merge lane into my lane. While I’m right there.

Three things happened simultaneously at this point: I honked, slammed on my brakes, and swerved toward the left to avoid being side-swiped by the driver.

Know what’s kind of cool about I-95? Both north- and southbound lanes have these grooves on each shoulder that, when you run over them, they rattle your car just enough to shake you awake. Apparently, enough people were falling asleep at the wheel that TPTB decided this would be a good way to shock sleepy drivers back awake.

Sammy’s front left wheel hit these grooves as I braked and swerved, which startled me enough that I swerved back toward the right in what I have deduced in retrospect was a rather overcompensating manner, which started Sammy wagging his little tail like an over-zealous puppy. Cute on puppies. Not cute on cars.

The fish-tail motion started to increase and next thing I know I’m spinning. And angry. Not scared. Not panicky. ANGRY. Angry at the stupid driver whose ignorance has left me feeling like I’m trapped in the spin cycle of an industrial washer. Angry enough that I was saying things about said driver that I think would have made my Navy veteran grandparents blush.

Thankfully, my anger kept me focused enough that I did what I knew I needed to do: took my foot off the accelerator, turned into the spin rather than fight it, and started to carefully slow down until I could regain control. A couple of spins later and all was still. And Sammy was parked in the saturated sogginess of the ditch running along the side of the interstate. Facing the wrong way. But safe. As was I.

Of course, safe is a wonderful thing. But so is safe and not sinking into mud. Which I was quickly doing. Not even rocking Sammy back and forth was going to get me out of this. So after several increasingly frustrated attempts, I finally cut the engine and climbed out to assess the mess and call AAA. That’s when the awesome gentleman in the AT&T service truck traveling northbound pulled over and asked me if he could help.

I may not have always depended on the kindness of strangers, but this guy and the winch on the front of his truck were my heroes, fo’ shizzle. He told me to hang on while he went up and turned around so that he could come over onto the southbound side.

That’s about the point when I became the center of some very unexpected attention. While waiting for the service truck to return, I glanced back at the northbound side and realized that two state trooper cruisers with their lights flashing were pulling over across from Sammy. I also noticed that another car had pulled over further up the northbound side, and a Black woman was quickly running over toward me.

I only mention her race because this woman was about as pale as I’ve ever seen a Black person turn. Seriously, she was nearly as White as me…and that’s saying a lot. It wasn’t until she kept repeating “I’m so sorry…are you all right…I’m so sorry” that I realized this was the driver who nearly hit me in the first place. She had turned around at the first exit she found and came back, apparently calling the police as she did so.

I assured both her and the two state troopers that I was fine, just stuck in the mud and waiting for the nice AT&T guy to hook his winch up to Sammy’s bum and yank him free.

[Before any of you ask, of course I didn’t refer to Sammy by his name or his gender. I didn’t really need the added indignity of having the cops giving me a breathalyzer test…]

That’s when the county cruiser, the ambulance, and the two firetrucks arrived, blocking all lanes of traffic as they positioned themselves around my part of the interstate that was becoming increasingly crowded.

And that’s when I wanted to crawl under Sammy and hide.

This was also the point when I realized that, although I was semi-oblivious to the danger at the time inside my anger warp bubble, people around me witnessed something that they translated as “That’s definitely going to have a bad ending.” This woman who called the police must have told them to expect the worst possible scenario. What she saw in her rearview mirror as she drove away obviously left her shaken and afraid…and left me very grateful that I didn’t see what she and others saw.

I spent the next 10 minutes assuring her and all the officers and rescue people that I was fine, that Sammy was fine, and that all I really needed was the nice young man in the AT&T truck to do what he was waiting patiently to do. They quickly dispersed, probably equal parts happy to see that their expertise was not needed and possibly glad to have a little innocent excitement in the middle of their shift.

The AT&T guy and the county cop hooked up my car and pulled me out and helped me do a walk-around to make sure that Sammy was still really in one piece. I thanked them both profusely. I’ve also just finished e-mailing AT&T and letting them know that they hire some damned fine people down here in the Tarheel State. And then I was on my way.

Of course, anyone driving past that part of I-95 after the fact probably stared at the loop-de-loop streaks of rubber along the roadway and the big streaks through the muddy ditch on the side of the road and wondered what the frig happened there. Let me assure you, it was just Sammy leaving his signature across the interstate. Honestly, he’s turned into such a diva.

Seriously, though, thank you to whatever patron saint or universal glitch that’s out there, watching over white wolves and their anthropomorphized cars. Thank you to the stunningly fast response of the EMTs, firefighters, and police officers who, thankfully, were not necessary. Even thank you to the woman who started all of this mess. Thank you for coming back, for apologizing, and for caring, in stark contradiction to the opinion I had of you as I was spinning right round, baby.

And to the drivers who were caught up in all the excitement…believe me, I’m sorry. I know what I would have been saying if I’d been caught in the backup, no matter how short it may have been. So, sorry about that delay. I hope you all got to where you were heading without any further delays. I promise I will do my best to refrain from causing any further interstate altercations on my way home.

As for Sammy? He is almost perfect. Seems that his recent alignment is a little off-kilter now, but other than that, he’s just very dirty. So it’s a power wash for him in the morning, followed by a fresh tank of gas for lunch. As for me? I think I’m going to enjoy the next few days traveling no faster than my two legs can carry me. I’m quite through with my attempts at impersonating a dreidel, thank you very much.

Is That a Banana In Your Pocket…?


I haven’t been eating bananas every day like I usually do. That’s the excuse I’m using for what happened.

See, potassium deficiency apparently runs in my family. Lack of potassium has certain side effects, one of which is horrible muscle cramps in your legs.

Like the one that woke me up this morning at 5 a.m. Anyone who knows me well, knows that I can sleep through anything. Almost anything. Having my calf muscle twisted into an Auntie Anne pretzel shape apparently does not fall under the “Almost Anything” category. The pain is excruciating but quick, although the soreness lingers. I can still feel the remnants of that sweet agony in my every limping move today.

It’s days like this that burst my mental image of me still being on the edge of 17 (guess no white-winged doves will be singing for me today, eh, Stevie?).

So I went back to my banana pattern this morning. Want to know a secret though? I hate bananas. Unless they’re barely ripe…skin still a bit green. Firm flesh.

Sorry, I really don’t mean to sound vulgar in my description, but that’s how I like my bananas. If they’re too ripe (what most people would probably consider “normal”), I can’t stand them. I’ll get through maybe half a banana at that stage before I simply can’t go on.

I especially can’t stand listening to another person eat a banana. Nails on a chalkboard? Don’t bother me. The gooey, viscous shlup of someone masticating banana bites? Oh, the humanity! I have left conversations in which someone was eating a banana. It’s either that or trying to explain why I just shattered a molar in an effort to refrain from sucker-punching them.

Is that normal? Of course not. Am I normal? If you can’t already answer that question, you need to spend a little more time perusing the lair. I’ll wait…

Done? Good. I suppose I could just start taking potassium tablets. But I hate the thought of taking vitamins. Isn’t it better for you to get your vitamins and minerals from natural sources? I also know that there are lots of other foods out there that are as rich with potassium as bananas. Bananas are, however, the most convenient to eat on a daily basis.

Just as long as they’re young and firm…

[Yeah, I was being unnecessarily dirty just then.]

License and Registration, Please

Sat down last night after dinner to flip through the bajillion and one cable channels that usually don’t have anything on worth watching, and I stumbled upon a movie in which Jed Bartlet seemed on the verge of molesting Clarice Starling. There are just some things that I don’t want to watch. Ever.

So I completely forgot to mention that I was pulled over by a cop on Friday night for no friggin’ reason. I had been at a complete stop at a red light for about 10 to 20 seconds, when I saw a car pulling up on my right, in the “right turn only” lane. I noticed, however, that the car had stopped without pulling up even with me. I looked in my right side mirror and saw that it was a police cruiser. It kept inching forward uncertainly, doing the “I’m spatially challenged and have no idea if I can actually fit past this car next to me” two-step. I laughed and probably made some sort of innuendo-heavy joke at the cop’s expense.

A second later, the cruiser jerked into reverse and pulled in behind me.

The light finally turned green and I made my left onto the main road. And right onto the side of the road as the cruiser’s blue and red lights flared up and the cop pointed his spotlight in through Sammy’s rear window.

I’ve been pulled over numerous times in the past. I have a hereditary condition that causes my driving foot to be pulled uncontrollably to the floor, regardless of posted speed limits. I’ve sought physical therapy, which has successfully reduced the impact of this condition on my driving record (and my insurance premiums). However, this was the first time I was ever pulled over simply for the helluvit.

So the cop ambles up to my window and asks me for my license and registration. In a new twist, however, he asks me how long I’ve owned my car. When I tell him, his response is, “That’s funny. Your license plate comes up in my system as belonging to a 2003 Mercury.” And then he walks away.

So we sit there for like 10 minutes before the cop comes back, returns my information and says, “Yeah, your VIN checks out as belonging to this car, but your license plate is coming up as belonging to a Mercedes. I mean Mercury. Your name also isn’t coming up in our system.”

Okay, so you really can’t drop something like this on me and expect me to shrug and go “Okay, occifer.” My actual response was, “Well, that doesn’t sound good. I guess I’ll have to call the DMV in the morning.”

To which to officer quickly responded, “No, that’s not necessary. My system is probably just down right now. You’re fine.”

Anyone else smelling a rotten bacon stink right about now?

First he tells me that my license plate is coming up as belonging to a completely different make and year of car. Then he tells me that the VIN information is fine, but the license plate is still coming up for a different car…but he can’t seem to keep straight the make of the different car (personally, I confuse Mercedes and Mercury all the time). And that my name isn’t even coming up in the system. But he doesn’t seem to think there’s anything to worry about in any of what he’s saying. And he gets jumpy when I state that I’m going to call the DMV to clear everything up with them.

Plus, there’s the tiny little matter of me not really understanding why I was pulled over in the first place.

I wish I hadn’t been suffering from an extreme case of “Politeness to Those Who Can Arrest You” syndrome. I really would have liked to have asked WTF. Part of me feels like I was duped in some way. I mean, I saw the decals on the cruiser and recognized it as a county sheriff’s car. Officer Dolittle was also in a recognizable duty uniform. So what the dilly-yo? Was he just bored and miffed that he couldn’t figure out how to get past me at the stoplight? Was my bumper sticker or my “Jesus fish” spoof that offensive? Was this abuse of power by a rabid fundamentalist?

Ooh, maybe this had something to do with that crazy woman who bumped into me a few weeks back! That might be a possibility…but then I go right back to the fact that I wasn’t doing anything to draw attention to myself in the first place. Dudley Dolittle had no reason to run my license plate in the first place, beyond the fact that he could have seen me gesturing toward his sad attempts at spatial handling and laughing.

If that’s indeed the case, then I’m ever so glad that my tax dollars are helping to pay the salary of someone so petty and small. Thanks for wasting my money and my time, occifer.

Vanity of Vanititties

No, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with getting breast implants as a Christian. I think it’s a personal decision. I don’t see anywhere in the Bible where it says you shouldn’t get breast implants.

So said Miss USA contestant Carrie Prejean during a recent Q+A she did for Christianity Today.

I suppose that’s one way of interpreting the Christian’s call to stand “firm” in their convictions.

Poor Carrie. You sure do know your Bible rules when they’re spoon-fed to you. But when you’re allowed to speak based on your own knowledge of the religion you constantly profess to love, you kind of go astray, don’t you?

See, the Bible actually does say things that speak to your human vanity, your immodest apparel (I don’t think heaven has a swimsuit competition), as well as your tampering with the body you believe God gave you:

I Samuel 12:21—And turn ye not aside: for then should ye go after vain things, which cannot profit nor deliver; for they are vain.

I Samuel 16:7—…for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.

Psalms 26:4—I have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers.

Proverbs 31:30—Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.

I Corinthians 3:16-17—Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

Philippians 2:3—Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

I Timothy 2:9-10—In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array. But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.

II Timothy 2:16—But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.

See? These are but a few of the examples of the guidance provided on vanity and modesty from your good ole KJV. Goes along with your own statement, made in this same interview:

If you read the Bible, it seems like everybody is trying to argue with the truth. It’s in the Bible, and if you believe in the Bible you believe it’s the truth.

From the mouth of babes, indeed.

Bottom line: Your additions to your temple are a boob boo-boo, according to what you profess to believe (unless, of course, God sent you a special permit to make those additions to His temple). After all, Yahweh has dictated, “Therefore shall ye observe all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them: I am the Lord.”

Now you’ve gone and broken the manufacturer’s warranty, little sheep. Whatever are you going to do?

Of course, one must keep in mind that little bit of biblical advice about how even the devil can cite Scripture for his…or her purpose. Loba has been called a little devil before…

The Most…Premature Time of the Year?

Courtesy of Dan Piraro's Bizarro
Courtesy of Dan Piraro's Bizarro

Christmas decorations are already being hung here in the city where I work. Yeah, I said Christmas. I know, I know…we’re supposed to say “holiday” instead of “Christmas” to be more inclusive. Sometimes I do that. But last time I checked, Jewish people didn’t hang green and red wreaths for Hanukkah. Red and green are the Christmas gang colors, thank you.

Remember the days when the barrier for Christmas cheer was Thanksgiving? No wreaths. No tannenbaums. No fat men in crushed red velvet (well, except for Uncle Mert, who still hasn’t left the 70s leisure suit era behind him). None of this stuff ever appeared on the scene until, at the very earliest, the day after Turkey Day. The day that is now celebrated here as “Black Friday,” when we’re all supposed to stumble out of our homes at half past way-too-friggin’-early o’clock, the stink of tryptophan and pie still clogging our brains, to shuffle with the other holiday-rage zombies and beat each other senseless for the last awesome deal on the hottest piece of breakable insipidness to hit the market this season.

Obviously, I don’t do this zombie walk. But I like writing the word zombie. Some of my ImagiFriendsTM have pointed out that zombie is a very popular keyword search. ZOMBIE. ZOMBIE. ZOMBIE. BRAINS!!!


Wait. What was I talking about? Oh yeah. Premature holiday cheer. Is it wrong to want November to be free of Christmas decorations? I don’t think so. I enjoy the oranges and browns of Thanksgiving. They’re reminiscent of the orange and black of my beloved Halloween. I like a little extra time with Halloween, mmkay?

Ah well. When have I ever tried to fight against the accepted norm? Oh yeah. Always 😉

Anyway, I ran across this Christmas ornament during a recent search for something somewhat tangentially associated. This is the most horrible UM Testudo ornament EVAR. First off, it’s the new mascot (and by “new,” I mean the mascot that they started introducing the year I graduated…an undisclosed number of years ago). I hate this mascot. I’m so glad my aunt found an ornament for me with my Testudo. That ornament rocks.

This ornament, however, in addition to bearing the ugly mascot, also looks either like Testudo has a disturbing basketball-shaped hemorrhoid or the worst case of elephantiasis of the scrotum in modern medical history. Who on earth would want this dangling off their tree?


“Beyond Ctrl+Alt+Delete”

That’s how our local talk radio traffic reporter described the hella awful computer meltdown that’s been crippling the D.C. commuter scene since early yesterday morning. Seems that the computer system that runs the operation of all the county’s traffic lights took a massive nosedive right at the beginning of yesterday morning’s rush hour. What did this mean? It meant that the transitional program that switched all 750 stoplight systems from “normal” to “rush hour” mode was not there to perform its function. So all those stoplights remained stuck in “normal” mode.

And that’s when rush hour traffic became traffuck.

Can you believe this? An entire county crippled by what WaPo described as “a Jimmy Carter-era computer.” Are you kidding me? Jimmy freakin’ Carter? You mean that peanut farmer who was elected president the year I was born? For a human, that ain’t all that old. In computer years…well, let’s just put it this way: I think Bette Davis is in better condition than this computer system. My iPod can do more advanced technological tricks than a late-70s-era computer system!

The solution? Right now, technicians are driving around the county, resetting the stoplights manually. Yeah. They’re also keeping in touch with each other via smoke signals and Pony Express.

Meanwhile, HAL is still not responding to resuscitation. So this morning’s commute was even worse than yesterday’s. A drive that should take me 25 minutes but usually takes me double that time during rush hour took me almost 2 hours this morning. Can you guess how unhappy Loba was this morning? I couldn’t even stand listening to my iPod, I was so irritated.

I really hope the computer geeks figure things out before the evening commute. I don’t know how much longer I can contain my LobaHulk Fury. You know how temperamental red heads can be…