From a Submariner's Perspective is a weekly column, written in response to the letters sent in to advice columnist "Prudie" at Slate.com. Each week, The Submariner responds to the letter writers in a way that Slate.com author, Emily Yoffe, probably can't (but perhaps would like to...). Each entry is headed with a link to the orginal questions and Yoffe's answers. Enjoy!

Also, if you have questions that you'd like answered by The Submariner, or anyone here at "The Fly", just write to me at smagboy1@gmail.com and I'll forward to the appropriate party/parties for an answer (or you can write to them directly via the e-mail addresses on their pages)! Once the answers are published, I'll drop you a note letting you know.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

...on, Like, January/December Weddings and Stuff

http://www.slate.com/id/2244465/ (02/17/2010) <--- Original Prudie Letters Can Be Found There

Hey hidey ho, Shippers! How in the hell are ya on this fine, fine Prudie Day? Here, it’s been really chilly for several weeks now. Like someone zapped the sun. I mean, it was right there, and then, Zapola! But, that’s not to say that it’s overly cold. I can still see it, the sun, up in the sky. And, I know that by summer, things will be sizzling again! Always forward, never back, right shippers? And that’s actually a good mantra to teach some of our letter writers for the day. So, without further ado, let’s get crackin’, shall we?

LW#1: Dear Prudie, I’m the oldest child of five siblings (born to four different fathers). Our mother abused us, both emotionally and physically. As the oldest, I was subjected to extra abuse, and for longer than the others. When I was 12, my mom gave up the youngest two children to adoption and I was placed in foster care. I have had very little contact with any of them since. In the interim, I’ve built a happy personal and professional life for myself, started a family of my own, and, through counseling and patience, have moved on. Recently the two youngest siblings have contacted me. They don’t remember their early childhood and have been in constant contact with our mom since finding her a couple of years back. One of them, my sister, now that she's found me, desperately wants us all to be one big happy family. It’s an emotional challenge even talking with her, Prudie, as I have no desire to even think about my past life. I’ve even avoided her phone calls and it’s wrecking my hard-earned inner peace. Especially because I feel guilty when I avoid her! What should I do, Prudie? Alright, I’m not going to sugar coat this: what in the hell are you doing protecting your mother?! Why are you hesitant to talk about your family’s past with your sister? She has a right to know how she was treated, and you have a right to tell her, in no uncertain terms, exactly why you will not be spending time with, or even talking to, your mother. You need to be 100% clear with her about that fact, but, you can’t expect her to just understand if you withhold all of the pertinent information as to why you feel the way you do! If she continues to harp on the ‘one big happy’ concept after you’ve been clear about the past (and your past treatment at your mother’s hands, too, if you want) and your current feelings about the topic, then follow Prudie’s advice and lock your sister out of your life. But, in the meantime, why not tell her what’s up? Why lock her out if she can comply with your wishes? You’ve withheld information from her and so her actions don’t seem particularly odd or out of bounds to me. Further, it seems to me that being forced to be the lone keeper of the nasty childhood knowledge that you’re bearing all by yourself is enough (all on its own) to upset your emotional peace. Your sister wants to be a sister to you, so share that burden with her. And then stick to your guns about your boundaries regarding your mom. If she can’t understand that after being told, then do the Prudie thing and cut her out of your life--just give her a chance first by giving her all of the info.

LW#2: Dear Prudie, my husband and I are, like, so totally in love! And he’s, like, totally cool and stuff! O.M.G.! The problem is that he’s pretty old, Prudie. I mean old, like, in his mid-40s-old! I know, right?! At the same time, I’m totally younger than him, by, like, twenty years or something (I’m not even sure by exactly how much I’m younger than him because math is hard and stuff), but, it’s a bunch. More fingers and toes than I have, that’s for sure! Anyway, that’s not even my problem. My problem is his crinkly old friends and their crinkly old wives. They totally don’t like me, Prudie, the wives. They aren’t, like, rude or anything. They’re just cold. Frigid. I hear that’s what happens when you get all old and stuff, and I hear sex gets that way, too, which might be why the wives don’t like me, ‘cause their husbands think I’m totally hot (at least according to my husband, who totally digs telling me how hot his friends think that I am). Which is just, eww, if you ask me! Anyway, as a result of this coldness, I spend my time taking care of the kids, refilling drinks, and washing dishes when we all get together. But I’m totally lonely. What should I do? Okay, I was hard on you in the recap of your letter, but, holy crap, woman! Listen, Prudie’s right. Your husband isn’t doing you any favors by encouraging his old man gang to ogle you. Second, you’re not doing yourself any favors by allowing this bullshit to occur. If your houseguests alienate you, they don’t need to be your freakin’ houseguests anymore. And your husband needs to make that happen, not you. Where is he when this is all going on, huzzah-ing over the latest Cuban cigar designs with his cronies? Listen, if he doesn’t get what’s going on, he needs to be educated. Turning that little wrench you have should do it. And you know good and well what wrench I mean, youngun’. Further, Prudie’s right on the issue of you spending time with other mothers people your age. If you’re in a new place or community and feel isolated, take some weekend or evening time, sans kiddo, to learn about your community and what it has to offer. Your old geezer husband won’t mind if you spend some time away from the house. We all need that sometimes. Take a class! Join a club! And when you see those frigid bitches next time, smile and wave and keep on walkin’. And for the record? They’re not old. They’re just catty. Don’t give them the satisfaction.

LW#3: Dear Prudie, I’m writing to you about a huge tattoo of a weed-smoking tiger that my husband has on his back. He knows how to write (my husband, not the tiger), but, because I’m pregnant, I am in fucking control, and I will write for him so that he doesn’t dork up this letter, because, left to his own devices, he would. Just look at that damned tattoo if you want proof of that! So, trust me when I tell you that my husband agrees with every single word that I’m saying on this subject, Prudie! He’s sitting there, right now, rapidly nodding, so, I know what the hell I’m talking about! Capeche? Good. Fact is, we have a toddler, and a baby on the way, and my husband is concerned about the joint on the tattoo and afraid its influence might cause our children to fall into drugs, prostitution, and then eventual death by suicide. But probably not before contracting STDs and having multiple abortions prior to death. Sure, we did some wild things as kids, but we don’t want our kids to do the same, and this tattoo will cause evil, sure as I’m sitting here writing to you. The tattoo is huge and so it would be very expensive and time-consuming to have removed. I’ve offered to remove it myself using industrial grade hydrochloric acid and steel wool. My wimpy husband is in the military, though, and he’s afraid he’d get in trouble if he had such a large scar. I’m thinking of doing it anyway while he’s asleep. What say you? You know what lady? I think you better check your fucking hormones, over? You think a tattoo is going to have more influence over your kids than your own morals and the lessons that you teach them by the way that you live your lives? You think that your kids finding out that you made a few minor “mistakes” growing up is going to cause them to make ones that are ten times worse, and that, in contrast, by falsely convincing them that you’ve been good, upstanding, moral, non-joint-smoking people all your lives, they’ll grow up straight and strong and good? How’s that working out for preachers’ kids? Idiot. That’s all I have to say for you. You.are.an.idiot! You disgust me. The only saving grace that I’m willing to assign to you is that you have got to be under the influence of massive nesting instincts because otherwise your behavior and logic are so warped that I’m starting to hope your husband leaves with the kids and his tattoo, and that he leaves no forwarding address! Wake up, woman. As they grow up, treat your kids like actual people. Respect them enough to trust that they’ll know the difference between right and wrong and to know that sometimes they’ll fall down along their journey. And finally, respect them enough to know that they’re at least as capable as you were (I mean, at a freakin’ minimum), and that they’ll learn, just like you did, what’s in their best interest. What you don’t want to teach them is that they can’t come to you with mistakes without being judged (mistakes like, say, getting a stupid, cliché tattoo, or smoking too much ganja sometimes?). Life is hard and the best message you can send to your kids is that you’re there for them and that you want only good for them, and, too, that there are consequences for stupidity. Hide those consequences by magically erasing them and what have you taught them? Only that they can do whatever in the hell they want and that it can all be fixed with a little acid and steel wool and momma’s crazy eyes! Is that the message you want to send, dumbass? Good, I didn’t think so.

LW#4: Dear Prudie, I was in line at the super market the other day and I noticed that the zipper was down on the pants of the lady behind me in line. Because I’m an idiot, I hesitated to say anything, but, because I’m not a completely lost case, quietly and politely, I did eventually tell her. Amazingly, there was no drama. She simply thanked me and zipped up. It was such an incredible, amazing, life-changing event that I immediately went home and told my husband! I mean, think of it, Prudie! I almost saw someone’s panties out in the real world. That is incredible, right? Point is, my husband told me that I was wrong and that I embarrassed the woman and that I should have just ignored it, allowing her the illusion, upon discovering her open zipper, that no one had noticed. What say you on this, Prudie? That the only person more amazingly socially inept and ignorant in this situation than you is your husband. Thank god it was you at the super market and not him.

****

Well shippers, that about does it for this week’s version of “SmagBoy Is The Most Offensive Poster In The History Of The Fray!” Come back next week when I might use words even more naughtily than this week. Sigh. Smooth sailin’ to ya, shippers! Fair winds and following seas, and, with spring starting to bloom in the southern states, be careful that you don’t burn your fingers as you grill those burgers. And always use bacon! Cheers!

84 comments:

  1. I don't think this batch will go very far towards winning Most Offensive - maybe L3, but there was far too much sense for offense.

    I've been waiting most of the day for someone to take your line on LW1, not wanting to attempt it myself as it seemed the natural property of Ms Messy. I'm not sure whether LW1's discomfort talking about it is on her own behalf or her sister's, but I rather half suspect or maybe just hope that some of her bad feelings that are springing up now are really coming from guilt about papering over the past when there is definite danger.

    As for LW3, you have given me a wonderful image. Wouldn't it be grand to be a fly on the wall when she tells her 16-year-old son (preferably with her husband right there), Yes, Junior, Daddy was a virgin when we were married?

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  2. Your response to Letter #4 made me snort my Diet Coke. Heh.

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  3. Well done with a particularly bland set of letters!

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  4. Greetings hrumpole! My allusion to "most offensive" was actually from an accusation made of me by Jeremy, the Slate moderator regarding a post from months ago. I was quite surprised, actually, and suggested that he had me confused with someone else.

    I am glad that you see LW#3 as I do. To be honest, I think almost all of the anguish in that letter is due to hormones, but, I couldn't go easy on her just because of that, even though I know the letter is likely to embarrass her to no end after she gets past this point her in her pregnancy. Ah yes, the virgin marriage. :-)

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  5. Hello Amanda! Welcome! I haven't seen you make a post here in the lagoon before, have I? If you have, and I'm misremembering, please forgive me. Regardless, welcome and we're so happy that you're here! Please come by and comment more often. Everyone is welcome, even if you have snorted your Diet Coke! :-) Cheers!

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  6. Thank you, Libby. LW#3 saved the day for us. :-) Cheers!

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  7. Smag ahoy! Dare I say that in what many refer to as OR'gone or where duck billed feet were invented that's it must of hit 65 degrees this fine day. Had I gone out and about there would have been many wearing their summer shorts in celebration (pale, hairy legs, eeh gads). Ask yourself Smaggie...are you really ready to break out the lawn mower, hoe weeds and spray Round-up, edge your lawn, trim your shrubs? Hmmmmm? That's been my week along with tax paperwork!
    And last nights barbecued hamburger was the best part of spring! Sadly no bacon, but yet delicious!
    You gave such sound advice this week, I've no clue what you've been up to over at The Fray? What trouble did you cause to entertain the moniker...Most offensive Poster? Hmmmmmm dare I ask?
    I have a few words to say about LW1, lets hope it's a few words. There is a point in ones life where you have made a good solid place in which you are very happy and content after leaving a bunch of bullshit behind you, that you are simply unwilling to backtrack. Namely an abusive childhood. And may I add, thankfully childhood is the shortest part of a great life! Back to my thought.

    The suggestion that the LW may be in denial, may need further counseling, may need to re-think her thoughts, may make the wrong decision...is simply more bullshit. Her letter sounds like she has a solid life and for no reason does she need to do other than what the hell she wishes to do regarding her past childhood. She's only responsible for her own actions and I'm fine if she decides the sister is not in her future. I will say that she does not need to lock in that decision forever, she could leave it open should she change her thinking over time. But it is not her responsibility to even look at it again in the future. She's free. It's a good thing!

    My other thought is that since the sister has contact with the mother, a conduit opens for passing along information she may wish the mother had no link to. I am of the thought that the mother has no rights to hearing how well her daughter survived her bullshit. It's that...you didn't cherish me while you had me, you aren't going to talk it up with your friends on what a great daughter I am now, more mother bullshit. You don't get to know me on your terms. I control the terms now. If she can make a deal with the sister so be it and if not...life will still be so good.

    OK, I think I'm done but can we ever tell?

    Happy trails....

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  8. Amanda...I usually fear blowing my coffee...not good!

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  9. Ahoy Smag! Advice was sound as usual, and I actually only have something to say about the following responses to your most excellent post:

    1. Jeremy is a prat. I've been a moderator as well as a publication editor before, and he's proven to be a socially retarded idiot on multiple occasions. I don't know if he would know offensive if someone beat him with his own ban-hammer.

    2. MORE usage of naughty words next week? Do you promise??? :D

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  10. Every time I preface a post with "I have to be brief this time," I write the first chapter to a novel, so I won't bother with the preface this time.

    LW1 - I'm suddenly compelled to feel bad for the sister trying to have the "big happy family." Granted, all the kids here are/were innocents, and she's trying, in her own way, to regain her life, just as Big Sis had. But Big Sis wants nothing to do with her, which has to hurt. Not that Big Sis isn't justified to cut all ties, but Little Sis is only "guilty" of having any contact with the abusive mother, who's the real villain of this tale. I wonder how things would be if Little Sis acted solely on her own (no contact with the mother).

    LW2 - trophy wives. {{sigh}}

    LW3 - Mom = Black Hawk, Chinook, Sea King, or for the really nostalgic, a Sikorsky.
    Not even a *future* helicopter parent. She's one NOW. She gets a swat on the belly with a rolled-up copy of HeliNews!

    LW4 - Aqualad, I hope you won't mind the slight indiscretion, but you may want to confirm that your periscope is, um, down.





    MADE YA LOOK BWA HA HA HA MADE YA LOOK


    --herd"T"hinner

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  11. Greetings Debbie! Man, it sounds wonderful in the land o' the ducks today! I will concede that I want nothing to do with yard care yet, so early in the season, so, as you intimate, I'll happily take a few more cold weeks. ;-)

    And, you're 100% correct about LW#1, except, as herdThinner points out, she shouldn't hold the mom's actions against the sister, at least without telling the sister what's up. But, in the end, regardless, she's got to do what's best for herself. I agree with that sentiment more strongly than anything else that I said. :-)

    Here's hoping for bacon for your burgers next time! Cheers! :-)

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  12. Corey! Ahoy matey! It's great to see you in these waters once again! Welcome, welcome!

    I won't argue your observations. With Jeremy, I wonder if he wasn't tainted against the Fray coming in, though, especially the DP Fray? Perhaps hired and given the advice, before even looking in, that the DP Fray is a terrible place! Who knows.

    As for more naughty words next week, you can bet on it! :-) I was trying to behave a little this week. A little. That won't happen next week. Honest! Never two weeks in a row! Any words in particular that you'd like to have uncorked? There's only two that I can't ever imagine using, so, pretty much anything is fair game!

    Cheers! :-)

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  13. Ahoy there, herdThinner! How in the heck are ya on this fine, fine day? Have any bacon cheeseburgers over this last week? ;-)

    As for LW#1, I'm with ya. I mean, in the end, like Debbie says, we have to let the LW decide, but, I hope that she allows the sister a chance to have a relationship sans mom.

    LW#2. Well, I don't know about trophy wife. I mean, I was hard on her, probably too hard, but, she seemed nice enough. The other wives shouldn't be so cold, but, in the end, I truly think she has to take control of the situation. I just wish her husband would be more attentive.

    LW#3. Like I say, I *hope* it's just nesting hormones. If not, yepper, a Sikorsky for sure! :-)

    LW#4. Wow, herdThinner, are you under the impression that it's proper position *is* down? I rather prefer it to be up during maneuvering operations. ;-)

    Good cheer to you, as always!

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  14. My advice to Jeremy would have been, "It's rough on the internet, kid. Grow a thick skin and use the ban hammer gently before the natives revolt and eat you alive. Oh, and don't be a twat or they'll sic 4Chan on you."

    Hmmm, words I want to see??? I'll admit I'm partial to fuckburger and asshat. :D *it's mostly because I'm a bad kid. Good thing I only lurk on Slate*

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  15. Okay everyone! You heard it from Corey. One asshattin' fuckburger comin' up next week! Hold me to it! :-)

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  16. *wide eyes* But, I wouldn't wish being held to a asshattin' fuckburger on my theoretical worst enemy (I can think of an actual worst enemy at the moment) so why would I do it to my favorite Smag boy?

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  17. Okay, Libby! :-) How about, please remind me to use it per Corey's request. But please don't, whatever you do, hold me to that! :-P

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  18. Sorry, Smag, I couldn't resist, was feeling VERY corny last night/this morning. ;-)

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  19. Sadly, Germy is that most common of creatures, the "fuctardus mediocratis and there is no cure for that. If I ever see him, I may have to be restrained from boxing his ears and sending him to the principal's office for a paddling.

    I fear he might look on that as a good thing, though.

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  20. Greetings!

    Yes, it would be nice if LW1 could set up boundaries for a relationship with her little sister and get to know her as an adult and live happily ever after if this is what she chooses without the need for more counseling due to someone's idea that she is in denial etc.

    I guess the burr in my butt is someone on the Fray...the dreaded Fray suggested she needed to further question herself and her position one more time. As if she could not trust her own thinking after working through her issues. At what point does a person get to own their decision without someone suggesting more internal work needs to be done?

    The subject of her childhood will always be emotional when a sibling appears out of the blue, is that a sign she needs more head work? Could it be that she is active in pursuing what she needs to remain healthy?

    I'll agree the older sister could clue the little sister in on what her childhood entailed so some understanding could happen...but this could be a 15 minute conversation if that is all the time she's willing to spend tromping through it one more time. She needs to ask herself the question...will doing this serve me well? Will it serve any purpose?

    It's not her responsibility to make sense out of her mother's decision to have 4 children from 4 different men, nor what traumatic event caused adoption to be a solution along with her life in foster care.

    LW2..why did I picture the Trophy wife wearing her 4 inch peep-toe heels, her girls up and out for all to enjoy, and in a short sequined skirt to join in a picnic down by the river! Not only did her dufus husband set her up with his, bullshit (my word of the week) but she's clueless. Starting with her husband should have been her first mission, but then again she sounds like a complete moron when she took her husbands statement as a compliment...my men friends think you're so hot. Sheesh, more morons. How uncomfortable would an adult woman be if her husband told her all his friends would like to get her in bed? By the way moron, in case she reads, that is what you're so hot means!

    OK, my novel is complete...well, maybe...another sunny day in paradise!

    May I find everyone's pants zipped and periscope's up or is that down...for the day! I fall into the catagory of wanting to be told. Friends don't let friends smile with green teeth...or they are not friends.

    Happy trails...

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  21. Captain honey ~ a quick word and then Mermaid must dash back to her side of the Lagoon ~

    Did you notice how LW#3 said her husband got the tattoo of the pot smoking tiger (ooh get me one of those, pretty please, sweetie?) when he was in his early 20s yet insisted he hadn't done anything illegal since he graduated high school? Was it just a homage to his formerly wild youth? Methinks not. Either hubby was a ~ er ~ late bloomer, or math must be really hard and stuff for HER too. Maybe she's also the LW#2?

    Don't worry about the sunshine, Diving Buddy. I have a feeling it'll return sooner rather than later. It always does! ;)

    Fair currents and gentle tides to you, Smagpie.

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  22. Smag: "Okay everyone! You heard it from Corey. One asshattin' fuckburger comin' up next week! Hold me to it! :-)"

    ...and don't forget the bacon (aka pig's ass)!

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  23. Ahoy there Captain Smag! I can see that gastronomy is pursuing you after your weird submariner's diet!

    You advice is sound as usual and I learned a lot about do-it-yourself tatoo removal! ouch!

    I was actually thinking of having an anchor tatooed on my ankle but I'm told that anchors are only for boy sailors --what do you say? (I want an anchor to keep me from flying off to unknown territories....)

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  24. LW3- "I will write for him so that he doesn’t dork up this letter, because, left to his own devices, he would. Just look at that damned tattoo if you want proof of that! "
    hehe, love it;)thanks for brightening up my day.
    JayJay

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  25. Smaggie, Mermaid has a good point on LW3

    I read that as an odd timeline as well. I believe LW was focused on making him clean as a whistle for his government contract as he's sure to tell his friends he's now enjoying his 15 minutes of fame via Prudie. Or he didn't get out of school until he was 20...now that is one very late bloomer. Would you also think maybe he was smoking one huge cigar at the time he decided to get his tattoo? I don't follow the latest tattoo fashion's but just what era were Tiger's smoking joints tattoo's popular? Anyone? Sailor Smaggie?

    Clueless in Duckland (which may be a good thing).

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  26. Smag, I can't remember if I've commented on your "pseudie" blog yet or not, but I've been reading since the inception of The Fly and was a fan back when the Fray didn't totally suck... so I'm definitely glad you all have taken it upon yourselves to keep fighting the good fight.

    Against what, I'm not sure. Then again I should be fixing dinner, not commenting on blogs so it's likely my blood sugar is dropping...

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  27. Bravo, Smag! What say all the regulars try to incorporate as many naughty words as possible next week? :)

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  28. Hey Libby! No worries! I was just flingin' corn right back at'cha! :-)

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  29. Hey Messy! Fuctardus mediocratis, eh? And you'll box his ears?! May I bring the pop corn? To me, by far his biggest mistake was coming into the DP Community without first getting to know it, and, too, without warning, and then going after respected posters while leaving other, actually really real offensive posts! And that's to say that a "respected poster" is above getting edited if there's going to be consistency, but, damn, you go in there and delete a popular post and then leave a bunch of crap untouched? That's not going to endear you to anyone, that's for sure.

    Have a wonderful weekend, Messy, and you'd better tell me if you think you might get to box his ears. I wanna watch! :-)

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  30. Hey Debbie! Agreed, of course, about LW#1. I'd be happy if the LW would just give that 15 extra minutes to the sister. If sister still wanted to even so much as bring up her childhood after that, I'm happy with the LW punting the sis into next week. ;-)

    As for the trophy wife / boobie shower-offer, if she's dressing and acting as you describe, then she getting what she deserves, but, if she's even a little bit normal and struggling (which is actually what I suspect, but, I am a softy at heart), then, as we both suggest, her husband is a freakin' idiot and needs to act like a husband and not her pimp.

    As for the position of my periscope, I've already explained *that* to herdThinner. ;-)

    Cheers! :-)

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  31. Greetings MM! Oh my, the crew so loves it when you grace us with your presence! And, I'll grudgingly admit that I like it, too. ;-) As for the morally upstanding tattooists, she's confused all around. Not only did I get what you pointed out, but, I noticed that she calls her hubby a "career" military man, having joined ten years ago. Huh?! Last I checked (and believe me, I knows of what I'm talking about), ten years don't make a career! I'm thinking her nesting instincts and hormones are going faster than a 1997 Saturn Station Wagon, going down hill, with both driver and passenger peddling as fast they can (those cars only have four cylinders, but, if everyone pedals, they'll get up and go!). So, I'm giving her a little leeway with dates, logic and math. For now. :-)

    Good cheer, MM, and do now how much you're missed over on this side of the lagoon! Thanks for stopping by! :-)

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  32. Greetings Kati! Thank you for suggesting bacon. As you know, it goes well with anything. As for your tattoo, no one group has ownership of any symbol. If you want an anchor, you should get an anchor. Period. It's your tattoo, not your friends'! :-) And that's all I have to say about that. Plus, if an anchor tattoo will keep you from being spirited away to unknown territories, I vote for two anchors! I'd miss you too much!!!

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  33. Greetings JayJay! I'm glad that I could help. Thank you for brightening *my* day! :-)

    Greetings Amanda! Well definitely take care of your blood sugar! But, after that, please come back and comment anytime! We'd all love to see you 'round here regularly. Plus, we'll remind you to eat dinner and keep things on an even keel, sugar-wise. ;-)

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  34. Debbie, I have a sneaky suspicion that it's a Hobbes Tiger (from Calvin and Hobbes) smokin' the doobage. Which is almost as bad as a tattoo of The Tazmanian Devil drinking a brew. Almost. And since she says they've been married about ten years, I'm guessing this couple is in their very early 30s at the latest. Tis a sad, sad story of tattoo abuse, actually. ;-)

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  35. Hey Jackal! Yes! Curse words all around next week! :-) Of course, you may not notice anything different here at this blog, but, still, it's a worthy cause! :-)

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  36. My favorite is "clusterfuck." I've heard it spoken (with minor prodding) by a woman whose voice never progressed beyond 4 years old, and by a throaty, irate Bostonian ("CLUS-TAH-fuck!!!"). Anyone can say it and make me smile. In the examples I've given, laugh out loud. If I ever hear my mother say it, I may laugh myself into an aneurism.


    Sorry, no bacon cheeseburgers since becoming one of... Them! I admit that I never really took to bacon, ham, or pork in general. Maybe it was the insane amount of salt that pig meat always seems to have. Yes, even honey-baked ham. And visible fat never appealed to me. When I did eat bacon, I'd carefully nibble along the edges where the meat is.


    LW1 - "helpful" people suggesting that she needs even more therapy reminded me of my sister, who constantly questions my decisions about... well, pretty much everything. Between my mother and myself, we figured out that she's yet to realize that I'm an adult and not simply Her Little Sister.

    If wondering why it's taken me THIS long to get that, it's because I lived alone for 10-ish years, so my decisions were always unquestioned, but now I live with her (temporarily or Bust!). Now I'm getting it in every conversation we have.

    Anyway, "helpful" folks on the Fray, suggesting more therapy, aren't thinking of LW as an adult, either, sounds like.


    LW2 - I'm predisposed to think of 20-year(plus) age gaps as trophy wife/husband deals, is all. And the husband encouraging his buds to get horny about her doesn't help their case. The wives who are not 20 years younger than their hubs must be thinking the same thing ("Look at that hussy, flaunting her still-perky boobies! We all know why he married HER, right, girls??")


    Mad Tats: So he has all that crap on his back and still got accepted into the military, and she thinks a scar will hurt his career chances? Aqualad, help me out here. Would the military even give a shit? (provided said scar wouldn't affect his job performance)

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  37. Good Morning herdThinner! One of "them", eh? :-) Well, you should know that my daughter, uncle, aunt and several cousins and friends are counted among "them", too. Two of them are of the two-syllable variety as opposed to the five syllable variety. :-) And I always enjoy eating with them and I prepare many of their dishes in my own home. So, no worries from this corner of the ocean. :-)

    The only thing I'd suggest for LW#1...well, you already know what I suggest. And, I certainly get your POV. Here's hoping your sister can get it too. Good luck!

    As for LW#2 and her perky boobs, I take her side over all others involved (even against Messy's take, which, I admit, took me some screwing up of the courage to do 'cause she's tough--but I can take her!!!) because, if I take the LW's words at face value, and I can certainly imagine the scenario as she describes, then she's being shit on from everyone involved. It's not her fault that she's younger, or that her boobs are perkier. It *is* the husband's fault for being such an asshole. And it *is* the other wives' fault for judging the LW on her good catch. "Jealousy much?" is what I'd say to them--I wouldn't encourage the LW to say it, I'd say it, personally. So, I'm with her, even though I implore her (like you and Messy did) to grow up a bit and start acting like she's and adult and belongs with the big people! :-)

    As for the tattoos and the military, that's an interesting history, actually! Did you know that tattooing was illegal in many states until recently (and still is in some!) due to military men (mostly Navy guys) getting sick after getting tatts during WWII?! (interestingly, surprise, it wasn't the tattoos, it was contaminated food aboard the ships that was causing the illness! But, because we sometimes take patriotism and punishment of those not like us to an extreme, because we're dumb as a mob sometimes, we blamed the tattooists. SC just a few years back repealed its laws banning tattooing). Anyway, to answer your question, tattoos are not illegal in the military, but, tattoos that are visible while in uniform are frowned upon, although not forbidden (you wanna make rank, though? Might wanna use some discretion). With some exceptions. No hate symbols. No extremists symbols. No anti-government symbols (obviously)! And, I'm pretty sure that the face is off limits (but not positive). This link might help, if you're super-interested: http://www.google.com/search?q=us+military+tattoo+rules&rls=com.microsoft:en-us&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&startIndex=&startPage=1

    Good cheer, herdThinner, and have a great weekend! :-)

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  38. Ah, Smag. I just KNOW you - Navy guy, submarines, all that - have a tattoo somewhere. What kind of animal is smoking a joint on YOUR skin? Otter? Sea Lion?

    UNICORN!!! Thats' it. You have a tat of a unicorn smoking a doob right in the middle of your back, doncha! Right under the words "USS OHIO SSGN 726."

    C'mon, you can tell us!

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  39. ....and I thought they all got the standard heart tattoo with "MOM" inscribed inside it on one bicep...

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  40. Well, Schuyler (and Debbie), no animals smokin' the doobage on me (although, there is a rather infamous tatt of a pink, weed-smokin' unicorn taking it from behind from a blue, non weed-smokin' pegasus here: http://fruitybachelor.com/uploaded_images/asdlabs-tattoo-gay-unicorn-718623.jpg *special thanks to MM for pointing out to me that tatt some many months ago--it's been a favorite ever since!).

    But, if you go here, you can see a couple of mine (plus one of me just being me): http://entertainment.webshots.com/album/571664285txZMvf

    How's that for (mostly) full disclosure? What about you, Mr. Cat? You have any you're willing to share with the group? ;-)

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  41. You beat me to it, Smag!! This is actually my screensaver right now. I've always loved the thought process I sense behind this.

    "OMIGOD you know what would be SUPER COOL is if the Unicorn was smokin a doobie!!"

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  42. MY EYES!! MY EYES!!

    ARE YOU WEARING BIRKIES WITH SOCKS IN THAT PICTURE?!!!

    Jesus man, give us some warning!

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  43. Now see, MM, it's mean, anti-comfortable shoe statements like that that cause all sorts of terrible things in this world, like people going around going "neener-neener" and making comfy shoe-wearing people cry. And for the record, I refuse to cry about my choice of footwear! Even if it *is* less stylish than yours! My feets is comfy, Baby!

    And, in that pic, by the way, I was wearing Teva's with black booty socks. I do own a pair of Birkenstock clogs, though, that I absolutely adore because they are soo-ooo-ooo comfy!!! So there! ;-P

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  44. There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with wearing socks with sandals. And NOTHING wrong with wearing Birkenstocks.

    But then again, I live in the PNW where it's practically a regional uniform statement....=-)

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  45. Now, dangit, Libby! For a second there I thought you were all defending me! But then you had to qualify it. And now MM will pounce on that and beat me with it. But thank you, anyway. ;-) I'm secure in my choice of shoes and what it says about manliness. Honest!

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  46. Well, I had to defend you on that, Smaggy, as that is my choice of footwear in the cold weather of November-January each year. The rest of the year I just ditch the socks, unless it's super cold out. =-)

    I had to qualify it because I've had friends nearly faint in horror at the thought, and there are some freakin awesome Pemco insurance commercials about "socks with sandals guy." See: http://www.youtube.com/user/NorthWestTypes#p/u/22/Z59fQ12OR0A

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  47. Smag:

    How about adding "flaming smegma" to your magazine? It's one of my originals but it has stuck with me for many years

    Regarding letter-writer #1: She needs to either run away screaming or reciprocate with cold, tenacious, obdurate, and untempered silence. I have been using the latter myself for sometime. It fills me with a small, and truthfully, pathetic measure of satisfaction.

    The letter writer may benefit from more therapy but she is probably better off without it. I have seen the results of too much therapy and listened to too much therapy-speak from a few family members. It is amazing, nauseating, and horrifying to listen to a teenager perform therapy-speak--and it is a performance.

    Carry on, Sailor.

    Silicosis

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  48. Well thank you, Libby! :-) And, you know, if you ever need someone to lay the smack down on your friends for nearly fainting, let me know. For the record, I purposefully wore black booty socks so that they're barely visible and look (almost) as if they're a part of the sandal. Alas, *some* people (read: MM) are just big meanie pantses! :-)

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  49. Hey there Silicosis!

    I'll try to get flaming smegma in there, too! :-) So, that's asshat, fuckburger and flaming smegma for next week! Whew! Let's hope the letters are some humdingers! :-)

    As for LW#1, I agree. It's entirely up to each person to determine what they do and don't need, and that psycho babble (as I like to call it) *is*, in fact, largely worthless (although, I'll admit that the wording has, on occasion, helped me see something from a different perspective, like, for example, learning to say "I'm sorry that you're upset" instead of "I'm sorry that I've upset you"--that one was a huge discovery for me as a quasi-youngster when applied to someone who always made everything *my* fault, from them running out of clean laundry, for example, to them forgetting to fill up the gas tank in their car, etc. Not so much the words, per se, but the sentiment and understanding that their problems are actually *not* my fault and that I should not own them, even with my words!). Anyway, sorry, where was I?

    Yes, so, LW#1 has to do what's best for him/her. I just hope that the LW tells the sister everything that it's all out there on the table and that there are no regrets later, like, "Well, if only I'd told her everything, her kids wouldn't have had to grow up around our abusive mom", etc. Regret can be a powerful enemy and there's not a damn thing to be done about it because the past is the past.

    Anyway, wow, enough pscho analysis of the LW for this post!

    Good cheer, and thanks for writing in, Silicosis! :-)

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  50. Oh hear ye, hear ye!
    Coming live from the land of Birki's with Sockies...

    Thank you one and all for a good giggle this morning, it's really more of an ongoing burble of laughter.

    I live 20 minutes from where not only would there be socks with the Birki's, but calf length brightly striped TOE socks worn with shorts. Actually the entire wardrobe would look like a throw back to Haight-Ashbury days. Everyone try's so hard to look unique that they look all the same, and that would be BIZARRE.

    So, Smaggie, you're looking rather tame in that photo with no worries and I'm with you, happy feet, happy life.

    What adds to my ongoing chuckle is that you posted photo's of your tattoo's and the only thing that is written about is those socks and sandals. Funny...Mermaid...you made my morning!

    No one would ever believe that pink and blue Unicorn tattoo from a written statement as that sounds a bit out there, but then again there is that link, and poof...another moron exposed. Humans continually amaze me....such a fun species.

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  51. Greetings Debbie! You know, if we can make one person per week have an ongoing burble of laughter, then our jobs here are complete. :-)

    And yes, I noticed, too, that of the three photos that I posted, ostensibly for the purpose of displaying my tattoos, the only thing that got noticed was my choice of comfortable footwear! :-) Ah well, such is life.

    Good cheer, Debbie! :-)

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  52. Well, well, well. I can see you guys have been having a fine ol' time talking about Mermaid while I've been busy on my side of the Lagoon. So I'm a meanie, huh?

    Listen ~ what we have here is a simple cultural difference. As in some of us are cultured, the rest of you are not.

    You see, I was spawned and raised in Southern California. Here, there are only 4 kinds of people that wear socks with sandals:

    A) Toddler girls under the age of 5,

    B) Cholo gang members. See, it's not crocuses and bluebirds that alert us Angelinos to Spring ~ it's when the vatos in East L.A. cut their Dickies workpants off three inches below the knees and wear them with knee-high white socks (ideally there should be at least a 2-inch overlap so no actual skin shows) ~ with sandals,

    3) Fucking Tourists. (That's the correct pronunciation, btw.) As in "GodDamn! I'm so sure! Quitcher gawkin and move the hell along already! What are you anyway ~ a Fucking Tourist?!!" and

    4) Your grandpa from Florida.

    Smagaroni, I'm pretty sure you're not 1 or 4, so that leaves 2 or 3. And I don't want to piss you off by guessing wrong, ese, so I'll just say to you "Disneyland is off the 5 and you are totally rockin that Hawaiian shirt and plaid shorts, dude."

    Totally! ;)

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  53. Hey MM, you snooze, you lose, sister! :-) But, you wanna know what my favorite part of your whole list is? The CA numbering system of A, B, 3, 4! Now, you're correct, were I to be in CA, I'd be a tourist, but, my feet would be comfortable enough so that I could stick with either A-D or 1-4! So, I don't know which is better? Exceedingly cute, but uncomfortable footwear that affects the brain's ability to number things, or, the happiness of knowing the life truth that as my feet go, so go I. ;-)

    A big ol' muwah to you, MM! You know I'm just funnin' with ya, right? ;-)

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  54. Ah, proofreading. It's a wonderful thing. Also wonderful is if one has the goddam TIME to proofread, which I do not right now. As you well know.

    So I say ~ KISS MY ASS, SMAGBOY!

    And do it slowly, please ~ just the way your Mermaid likes it. ;)

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  55. Oh, yes! Laughter burbles freely one more perfect morning!

    As I chuckled my way through Mermaid's very well laid out and true list of footwear in sunny Southern California I noticed that small issue with the A,B,3,4, and then I knew the party had really started!

    Californian's will wear anything on their feet though that falls within their limits of proper footwear. Once upon a time standing in line at Universal Studio's I began to notice feet due to the woman ahead of me in line. It was over 90 degrees and I did not understand how her toes could be happily gripping that hot asphalt off the end of her sandals, she had three inches of toes shooting out past the sole. Then I began my mind bending footwear fog of more than an hour watching feet and many native's had toes clutching asphalt. Was that some human earthquake early alarm system, wha'ttttt?

    It was interesting to see the variety of ways humans torture themselves with footwear trying to look avant guard from the native's in their toe torching sandals to the #3's, visiting relatives all in their running shoes or yes, socks with sandals.

    What goes for cultured in California and Miami looks very odd in Seattle, anywhere in the Pacific NW. In Australia, you'd be wearing white calf length socks with your shorts and would never be caught dead in Ugg's.

    At one point or another we all get caught looking goofy in one part of the country or another, some days we are unwilling to do other than that, we wear our favorite garb regardless of what anyone thinks, and I am enjoying every bit of this human experience wherever life takes me. it's always entertaining!

    If you saw what went for fashionable in my part of the world you'd think the end was near. Some days you'd wonder if there was a water shortage, and some days it's apparent this is where all the ugly clothing goes to die.

    So Smaggie, as long as your crack'alicious thong isn't out for all to see, I'm good. And I'm not talking flip flops here!

    Happy trails on happy feet....

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  56. Hi Smag. I really didn't care about the LWs but I had to laugh while reading your advice!

    Here in southeastern NM we hit 73 deg. on Friday and then had 2" of snow on the ground this a.m. Weather changes won't stop us from grilling ribeyes and bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers this weekend though. The only thing we haven't decided is what cheese to use in the jalapenos.

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  57. Cream. Cream cheese in jalapenos is the bomb! =-)

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  58. MM, as we used to say as kids, "Bare it, Baby, and I'll pucker up!" ;-)

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  59. Greetings Debbie! My "crack'alicious thong", eh? Let me just say that when I want to feel like I'm wearing nothing down there, I'll just go on ahead and wear nothing down there! :-) I have no problem taking it off. No thongs for me, thank you very much! I like to wear those biker short-looking briefs--the anti-thong! :-)

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  60. Oh, Beckaroo! I'm drooling! As for which cheese to use? Yes! That's the answer. Yes! ;-)

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  61. And, as for Libby's suggestion, OH.MY.GOD! Yummy! Provided they're all grilled and the cream cheese is gooey. I don't like raw cheese (even cream cheese). Gotta be cooked for me to truly enjoy it.

    Cheers All, and bon appetit! :-)

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  62. Cream cheese is great in the jalapenos, Madd Libby! We like to experiment, though, and have used ricotta with egg, herb and garlic, and a couple other combos. We also like to experiment with the type of bacon we use.

    Smag, I could make a meal of these things. Of course one of my favorite meals is grated cheese over melted cheese, pasta optional (not really).

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  63. Beckaroo, Mermaid here. I must chime in, as the proper filling in jalapeno poppers is a hotly (get it?) debated topic over here on this side of the Lagoon ~ ribeyes and grilled poppers being one of my favorite meals, also.

    It is our opinion that a good, firm, medium to sharp Cheddar is what's called for. Colby is excellent. Holds it's shape nicely and won't run out, no matter how melty and gooey and absolutely greasily delicious they become. ;)

    I serve mine with homemade ranch dressing or sour cream. And wait for the applause.

    (love your picture, btw. you look like my beloved Monster, may he r.i.p.)

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  64. Sorry for the illegal use of "it's" for "its"!

    I'm a little weary right now but I knew if I didn't correct it immediately I'd never hear the end of it from Smagboy, who has suddenly taken to proofing my posts like a monkey grooms his mate for fleas. ;)

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  65. Hahahahaha, Mermaid! I'd probably prefer Cheddar ~ my favorite is extra-sharp horseradish ~ but Colby sounds good too. Decisions, decisions. I'll have to try ranch dressing, too. Never even occurred to me before. Thanks for the suggestions.

    My picture is Pfredd, who we had for 19 years. He's been gone for almost 4 years now and we miss him. Monster must have been beautiful.

    Weariness is a legitimate reason for typos. Smagboy just loves pulling your tail. :)

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  66. That he does, Beckaroo, that he does!

    I actually awoke this morning with your post on my mind. Ribeyes are the only kind of steak we eat around here. Once you go fat ~ you never go back, am I right? We have an interesting treatment for them that I think you might enjoy, so I'm going to share it with you.

    This will make 2 ribeyes so adjust accordingly.

    We take a packet of taco seasoning mix and divide it evenly between 2 ribeyes, coating the steak all over with the mix. Use it all, you want it to be thick. Let them sit in the fridge for about an hour before grilling, then grill as usual. (Ribeyes are the only steaks I like medium to well, all others must be bloody.) Once they come off the grill and are resting, sprinkle them thickly with grated cheddar and then cover with foil and keep warm until the cheese melts, about 5-10 minutes.

    You can eat these as they are, or slice them thin and eat in corn tortillas as tacos, or flour as burritos, etc. Of course, the poppers are an excellent accompaniment.

    When I can't grill, I bake my poppers at 400 for about 35-40 minutes. As you can tell, I'm very hungry right now, and this granola bar is NOT cutting it! ;)

    It was a pleasure to meet Pfredd. I know what you mean. Not a day goes by that I don't miss my Monster, and it's been going on 3 years now.

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  67. You guys are totally making me hungry! Stop it! Especially Beckaroo's grated cheese over melted cheese! Oh wow, put that with MM's rib eyes. Okay, I'm drooling. Literally. I mean, I'm not letting it fall out of my mouth, so I guess that's just salivating, but still.

    Now, as for me patrolling MM's posts for grammar. Let's do a little history lesson. All was going well and then MM called me a, wait for it, FUCKING TOURIST, due to the fact that OMG! I was wearing black booty socks with my Teva's. So, yeah, MM, I did take pleasure in returning the favor, but, as they said in the 80s in some hokey movie, I "didn't start the fire"! That was you. ;-)

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  68. Can I confess here that I'm a fan of the slightly fried cheese? Just slightly, just enough to carmelize it slightly, not in oil, just on a hot pan....that is some good stuff right there.

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  69. Libby, would you be shocked to learn that my son and I have a special enameled metal baking dish with two little handles that we use exclusively for baking cheese? We put a half pound of cheddar on it (the enamel keeps it from sticking) and put it in a 400 degree oven until it is melted throughout, but retains it shape. We take it out and sprinkle it with kosher salt and serve it spread upon crackers or pieces of toasted baguette.

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  70. That sounds pretty awesome too!
    I my fried cheese to be just ever so slightly crispy on the edges and I eat it LIKE a cracker.

    I've seen it served in upscale situations with parmesean or another very hard cheese. But I like it with colby, mozzarella cheddar mix, or just cheddar too.. ;-)

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  71. I make parmesan pirouettes where I take real parmesan (not Kraft, godluvit) and put about 2TBSP on a hot skillet until it melts and begins to ever-so-slightly brown around the edges (it should look lacey) and then I take it off and curl it around the handle of a wooden spoon as it's cooling. This is excellent on Caesar salad.

    Yeah, sometimes we make grilled cheese sandwiches and hold the bread. :)

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  72. That sounds awesome, Mermaid! =-)

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  73. Lalalalalala! I can't hear your conversation about glorious, lovely, melty, cheese! Lalalalalala! :-)

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  74. Thanks for the recipes, Mermaid and Madd Libby! Sorry, Smag ~ they just sound so ... yummy.

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  75. Yum! Yum! I'm on my way over right now following the delicious wafting smell of all that cheese....sniff, sniff...ahhhhhh....these all are idea's new to me and that may be a very good thing!

    Save me a Ribeye slathered in Taco Seasoning too please!

    I'll be on the lookout for that Extra-Sharp Horseradish Cheese, never heard of this combination.

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  76. I was really happy to find some extra-sharp horseradish Cheddar in a local deli a couple of months ago. I grew up in central New York state where it's popular but it's hard to find any ... unusual ... types of anything here in southeastern New Mexico.

    You're welcome to drop in for a steak dinner DPWWO. No one will even blink at another UFO landing.

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  77. No, hey, I see how it is, I mean, you know, just kill a guy why don't'cha?! :-)

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  78. Libby, that's what happens when you wear widdle sockies wif your sandals, you get weewy weewy cwanky wifout your nap. ;)

    My brother's nickname for me was Dairy Queen because he opened my fridge one time and counted like 13 different kinds of cheeses.

    When I was pregnant with my son I'd eat an entire 8oz cake of Treasure Cave blue cheese with a green apple for lunch. And then chew the wax coating it came in like you used to do with the wax lips, remember?

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  79. Well I don't wear socks with my sandals THAT much, because I get ingrown toenails. But I still maintain there's nothing wrong with wearing that particular combo.

    On a recent family vacation I discovered that I'm more cheese dependent then I knew. I literally had tons of food available and was going crazy unable to feel full because there was zero cheese in the available foods. There was dairy, just no cheese.

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  80. Beckaroo...
    DPWWO...I Googled and nothing, does this mean park my space ship on the street or one wheat field over?
    Regarding UFO's... the need for
    The Octomom to fertilize all those eggs make one think aliens could be amongst us? Why else would any woman, any human woman want so many babies? Propagating a species? I hope when her ship lands again that they take them all aboard! When I see the TV shows about whether aliens exist some times I think we can't see the forest for the trees, there are instances where the alien theory is the best explanation. Hmmmmm? I can see little retractable arms hidden inside those full lips of hers. She seems to be a bit of a shape shifter as well.

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  81. Debbie - DPWWO is my abbreviation of your name
    'cuz I was too lazy to spell it all out. I live in Roswell and was trying to be funny with the UFO quip.

    The octomom isn't the only one I'd like to see leave the planet but she'd sure be a good start!

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  82. Ditto Beck on people slated for that first flight out...gee the DPWWO really had me wondering...sheesh!

    Do forgive Smaggie but I am maybe breaking out of some rules but I am posting my favorite cheesy recipe that meets my needs for something chewy, hearty and hot! So here it is, I am making it right now and in 20 minutes I shall feast...

    You can go ahead and say your favorite phrase...You're Hot!

    Bowl of the Wife of Kit Carson
    2 whole chicken boneless breasts
    1QT of chicken broth
    pinch of Mexican leaf oregano
    1 cup cooked brown rice
    1 cup cooked garbanzo beans drained very well (canned)
    1 chipotle chile packed in adobo minced (canned)
    6 ounces of Monterey Jack or Havarti Cheese cubed (one cup)
    Optional: 1 Ripe Avacado chopped, 4 sprigs fresh Cilantro

    Place chicken breasts in cooking pot with broth, bring to a boil, turn off heat, cover and poach for 12 minutes gently.
    Remove chicken breasts from pot to cutting board, cube, chop or cut into 1 1/2" strips. Return chicken to broth, add Oregano, rice, garbanzo beans (well drained), and minced Chipotle chile.
    Divide cheese cubes amongst 4 soup bowls.
    Heat soup to boiling before serving, pour over cheese in bowls, garnish with Cilantro (optional) Avacado can be added at this time.
    This dish may be made a day ahead but don't add the avacado until reheating the soup for serving. The Chipotle chile flavor will intensify overnight and the dish may seem hotter. For more heat add more of the Adobe Sauce.





    Here is how I do it.
    Start the brown rice in one pan as it takes 40 minutes to cook. Start broth in another pot, add oregano. While it's coming to a boil, drain and rinse canned Garbanzo beans leave them in strainer, chop Chipotle Chile, set aside. Note: chili's are slippery straight from the can so I store the rest of the peppers in a plastic baggie in my freezer (which is set to a soft ice cream setting) so the next time I make this soup I can chop them from the frozen state making them so much easier to handle. Now the pot of broth should be boiling, add frozen chicken breasts, bring to boil, turn off burner and cover. Divide the cheese into soup bowls then leave everything until the rice is cooked, about 20 minutes. Remove chicken breasts from broth to cutting board, add to broth the garbanzo beans, the cooked rice, chopped Chipotle pepper. Chop warm chicken breast as you wish and then return to pot and bring to boil. You're done! Since I rarely have an avacado I make this all the time without avacado and the cilantro. It's quick, easy to make and it's wonderful. I've also made it without the chicken to reduce the calories but then the broth lacks the wonderful flavor the original recipe has.

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