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, April 15, 2010

....The Tax Man Cometh

http://www.slate.com/id/2250840/ (4/15/2010) <--- Original Prudie Letters Can Be Found There

Hey hidey ho, Shippers! And how the hell are ya on this fine, fine Prudie Day?! Like it or not, along with it being a fine, fine Prudie Day (which it is), it’s also Tax Day here in The States (here’s hoping that my mention of that fact didn’t serve as your first realization of the date!). That may mean some of you are a bit crazed and coffee-fueled right about now. But, hang in there, because, even though Tax Day may cause some of us to break out in hives as if we’ve eaten too much boysenberry pie, we’ve got some letters here that’ll make receipts and deductions and tax credits all seem like a minor inconvenience. I hope. So, with that in mind, let’s get to it, shall we?

LW#1: Dear Prudie--About a year ago, out of the blue, I began having psychic pussy pulses that reminded me of my First Love. The awkwardness, the overcoming of said awkwardness, the joy of mutual discoveries, the heartache of my crushing his heart as I read my horoscope one morning and found that our chakras didn’t align in the seventh moon of the fourth house and so, even though we seemed perfect together, we’d never be able to truly connect on a deep, spiritual level. I tried chi extraction and using a séance to rid myself of the doubts, but, to no avail. So I dumped him. Anyway, back to the present. Right after the pulses started, amazingly, he got in contact with me (coincidence? I think not!). Since then, we talk frequently about all sorts of things like his line of work, where jobs for him might be, what types of things he might encounter and who he’s networking with in order to find work. Well, I recently had a very vivid and unsettling dream about his head being literally blown apart in some Iraq-looking place while surrounded by some of his old college buddies. And then, after having that dream, I learned that he’d been offered a security job in Iraq! By one of his old college buddies! Should I tell him of my obviously prophetic dream, or keep it to myself?

Sincerely--Karnak the Dreamer

Dear Nostradamus--Yes, you should tell him. But, not for the reasons you think. You should tell him only because it will remind him of how batshit crazy you are! And then he can go to Iraq with a clear and intact head, free of loony tunes insanity. And, too, because telling him, in the end, won’t make a world of difference. I mean, let’s say he decides to stay here and then has a car accident while driving with a college buddy who, wait for it, has some tenuous connection to Iraq. You’ll be all, “Oh my God! So, like, that’s what my dream meant!!! The whole Iraq part of my dream was that his college buddy had been there and they were talking about it!” Thing about these dreams is that they’re so easy to fit whatever circumstance happens. I’d like to stay here and tell you more, but I need to go send my life savings to The Uri Geller foundation. James Randi has been picking on him again and he needs my help. Good luck!

LW#2: Dear Prudie--My boyfriend and I have the most marvelous child in the entire world! He’s practically perfect in every way and I’d never want someone to think of him as “a bother”. Unfortunately, my boyfriend has a bothersome child with his ex-wife, a six year old boy, who comes around a few times a month. I think his mom is jealous of me, even though she has since remarried and has another child. The little six year old brat won’t even talk to me when my boyfriend isn’t around. My boyfriend is pushing me to get married, but, I don’t know if I can do it considering how much I dislike his bothersome son. What should I do?

Sincerely--At Least I’m Honest About It

Dear Honesty--Yepper, you are being upfront about your asshattery. I’m not sure if you reckon that earns you brownie points, or just means that you take pride in ignorance? In the end, though, it doesn’t matter. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed this, but, your de facto stepson is six fucking years old. He’s not an eighteen year old. He’s not yet capable of the kind of strategic and self serving manipulation that you seem to be giving him credit for. His motivations are simple. It’s clear to him that you don’t like him. It’s clear to him that his birth parents, both of them, have started new families and that he feels stuck in the middle and marginalized. He can also sense that you’re an evil bitch who is jealous of him and his mother (your “respectful” treatment of him aside). Think he doesn’t get that? Think he’s just doing his mother’s bidding?! Let me tell you something. At six, I don’t care how much programming his mother gives him during the week, a simple honest desire from you and your boyfriend to spend time with and appreciate him as a person would undo that programming in a matter of hours. Actually welcoming him? That would switch the poles of his world. But, since you’ve been unwilling to do that since even before you met him, because you’re just as nasty and shitty and jealous as you blame his mother of being, you’ll never connect with him. And, when he does get older, he’s going to resent you even more and he’ll have the teenage intellect to actually press all of your buttons instead of you just imagining he is. Get over yourself and recognize that you’re being shitty to a six year old. A six year old. And here’s a novel idea for you to try. Why not enlist his father’s help? Good luck. Your stepson’s going to need it.

LW#3: Dear Prudie--I work for a small startup company that recently scheduled a series of mandatory seminars on business etiquette. In a recent session on “professional appearance”, the presenter listed a number of things that are verboten: gray hair, dandruff, being fat, a bad complexion, and sporting an un-nice smile. Our executives just sat there and bobbed their heads in the up and down direction. Now, all of us non-executives feel discriminated against because we’re all gray-haired, dandruff-having, fat, non-white (which is what "bad complexion" means), frowners. What should we do?

Sincerely--Fat, non-white frowner, but, fortunately, dandruffless!

Dear Flakeless--Have you ever read “Dilbert” or watched “The Office”? Do you know that you’re describing the stupid, mandatory presentations in most every office, company, corporation in the entire world? What are you, Canadian?! As for the executives, didn’t you know that in order to become an executive, nine out of ten of them had to have their spines removed? Of course their heads where bobbing. There’s no neck bone to support all of that dead weight! Plus, they were trying not to fall asleep! Look, I have no idea why you didn’t say anything to this presenter? Why didn’t you just ask, “Are you talking about us old people when you mention ‘gray hair’?” Perhaps, and forgive me for going out on a limb here, it’s only you that feels discriminated against and you’re trying to make this seem about “all of you”? Or, okay, okay, maybe it’s you and your one co-worker who always goes along with all of your batshit crazy “I’m being oppressed by the man” bullshit? If this truly is a workforce-wide concern, you can all ask for a big meeting and have everyone lay it out. The only way to deal with this is to address it. Either through HR, or directly to the spineless, head-bobbing executives. I’m sure you’ll get an answer pretty quickly once you start actually dealing with the proper channels rather than vying for sympathy from The Internet Lady. Good luck. Heh-heh.

LW#4: Dear Prudie--I’ve been unemployed for over a year. A “friend” recently asked me to be a bride’s maid in her over-the-top wedding next year. I tried to decline because I can’t afford it, but, she turned on the water works, saying that I could afford it, so I relented. Prudie, I truly can’t afford this! Not just the dress, but the other expensive, limo-laden events that go along with it! I’m afraid that the other bridesmaids will resent me as I can’t pay my share for their extravagant plans. I’m going to have to start declining my friend’s invites to “My Bridesmaids”. What should I do?

Sincerely--A Pauper Tagged With Princess Duties

Dear Pauper--I think Prudie nailed this one. You’ve got to tell your “friend” that, as much as you’d like to go into debt for all of her bridal events and periphery and clothes and shoes, etc., that you’d have to buy to do this, you just can’t afford it on your own and you are unwilling to go into debt over it. Tell her, as Prudie says, that you’ll be thrilled to help her celebrate her nuptials as a guest at her wedding. If she can’t see her way clear to gracefully accept you explanation and invite you as a non-bridesmaid guest, then tell her to go fuck herself. I’m serious. The kind of selfish, self-absorbed, self-centered, conceited, me-ness that so many brides engage in during wedding time should be discouraged at every opportunity! Good luck to you. And I mean that sincerely. Also, as a side note, I hope that you’ll remember this all when it comes time for your wedding.

****
Well Shippers, that’s about it. I love it when the letters span the whole range from batshit crazy to actual legitimate concerns. I’ll let you figure out which were which. ;-) Here’s hoping that you’ve all either filed your taxes already, or that you’ve got a good handle on everything. Also, I’d like for each of you to take a moment to send positive thoughts to Bret Michaels. Our favorite VD-defeating, fake hair-sporting, pop-rock ballad front man had to undergo an emergency appendectomy this week. I’m concerned that if he goes back too quickly to the Rock of Love bus, he’ll be exposing himself to infection because his normally steel-like immune system will be weakened due to the surgery. Here’s hoping he’s wiser than that. He was a Rhoade’s Scholar! I think, anyway. ;-) Or, here’s hoping that he’s tougher than I give him credit for! Until next week, fair winds, following seas and cheese on a stick to you all, Shippers!

71 comments:

  1. Good morning, my Captain ~

    I know you'd never be deliberately cruel to your Mermaid ~ but did you not think I would notice how you spoke to the first letter writer?

    You've heard Mermaid tell you about her dreams and visions. The boy on the bicycle? The teacher and the glass of milk? And you took it all in as if butter wouldn't melt in your mouth. Hmmm. So tell me, dearest, is that what you really think of your Mermaid ~ that I'm "batshit crazy"? Is that what you whisper to the crew when I'm not around ~ maybe even make that little "cuckoo" sign by twirling your finger at the side of your head to really illustrate your point? How unkind of you, Smag. It's quite obvious that you have no similar powers of precognition or you would have been able to look into the future and see how much of what you said would hurt your Mermaid's feelings.

    As for Bret Michaels ~ you can save your sympathy, Diving Buddy. Save it for your pathetic Rhino Mach 5 Analprobe Deluxe pen, which looks like it could use all the sympathy it can get, when even its biggest fan RUBS HALF OF IT AWAY TO OBLITERATE ITS TRUE IDENTITY due to the SHAME of owning it. Bret and I are doing just fine on our own, thank you very much. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to rejoin him in his recovery, and spoon feed him some Haagen Dazs. Seems a mutual "friend" of ours has been filling his beautiful head (of NATURAL HAIR, buttlicker) with a load of crap about how he ended up there in the first place WHICH HE DID NOT BELIEVE FOR A SECOND. He knows who is to blame. And his wrath is mighty.

    Btw, only his closest friends know of his TRUE BIRTHDAY which he does not tell everyone so as to throw them off the trail. He gets the biggest kick when CERTAIN PEOPLE show up on his doorstep 5 days early with presents. We just sit upstairs in the hot tub, he and I, and listen to the pathetic banging on the front door, and laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh...

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  2. Ahoy, mon Capitan! Once again, a truly delicious serving of snark, where appropriate!

    Also, I found a recipe online for the hot-dog-on-a-stick batter. I've been monkeying with it to see if I can get it to be of the right consistency to make fried cheese at home. =-)

    Happy Prudie Day to you, and here's hoping your taxes are filed, or at least, nearing completion!

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  3. Er'rrrrr Wha'ttttt?

    Bret Michaels...what/who/how/when/where do you hear about his life? What are you reading/watching? I musta' missed some news event? I lead such a quiet life.

    Onto the Letters...

    Dreams, dreams, dreams, shut-up, shut-up, shut-up...unless they are filled with a million dollars and I'm the winner. I can think up a million downer ideas all on my own thank you very much. If you dream my head blows up...feel free to keep that inside your own head. But if you dream I'm covered with cheesy bits, all melty and warm and Some Cute Guy is licking it off...share that one. Please.

    LW2 Poor kid, two sets of families and in his little mind both have replaced him with a new kid. Good advice SmagPop...he only needs to be the center of someone's universe, the way he felt before the divorce, before the babies. Oh, and don't marry the father if his son bugs you, do the man a favor and move on. Another moron who should have used birth control. Kids are not similar to buying the latest fashion item, truly...have a brain before giving birth.

    LW3 If only someone had taped this great advice with the company's warm and fuzzy meeting for the beloved employee's. I'd say that Grey Hair remark could be worth money. Smaggie said it best...stupid, mandatory presentations! Haven't we all sat through a bunch of corporate meaningless garbage depending on what was in fashion at the time. Warm Fuzzie's, remember that?

    LW4...How to take the fun out of an event 101. Invite me to participate then tell me that honor will cost me $1000.00. That way I can DECLINE and pick up that larger than life Wide Screen LCD TV and happily watch you dance at your wedding after it's all over!

    Happy trails everyone...Bret Michaels wherever you are, whatever you're doing...;o)

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  4. Greetings MM, my true, incredible and wonderful Diving Buddy! The lengths I have to go to in order to get you to come visit the Lagoon! I had to not only lovingly trash our mutual super hero/pop metal star and love interest, Bret, but, I also had to publish a snarky response to LW#1, knowing *full well* how you might take it, but, hoping that you would know that I was not, even in the slightest, talking about any legitimate understanding of the real world (like what you display in spades). I see I was succesful in procuring your vist, but, at what price? At. What. Price?! ;-)

    See, my first draft response to LW#1 actually went into great detail about the difference between, a) someone who's truly observant, wonderfully in tune with her environment and a true empath, and, b) someone who's batshit crazy. As an example, I talked specifically about your dream about a house fire and how significantly and legitimately different that was to what this woman is talking about. Sensing real and ongoing things in one's own environment is quite different from going all Nostradomus on us. But, due to space contraints (and a desire to not have my reponse to LW#1 be longer by itself than some of my earlier columns were in their entirety), I chose to edit for space. Please don't be insulted! To the contrary, I believe you to be the very opposite of batshit crazy, MM! I believe you to be Incredible.

    As for your relationship with Bret, all I can say is that if you two *are* plotting against me, there will be hell to pay. You need to tell Bret that I'll stop donating my hair to him for wig production. I'll stop in a freakin' heartbeat. Then we'll see what he does, won't we?!! So neener-neener! ;-)

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  5. Greetings Libby,

    For the first time ever, I'm having my taxes prepared by an accountant because of various investments, etc., that needed special attention this year. And, for the first time ever, here I sit after noon on the 15th of April, with un-filed taxes. :-( I've called him twice this morning to no avail. Such is life. In the end, I'm sure that it'll all work out. After all, how many of his clients have access to ICBMs and and the knowledge and accuracy to park one on his house?! ;-)

    Please let us know how the batter recipe goes! :-)

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  6. Greetings Debbie. Please don't worry! Bret is going to be okay! Here's the info: http://www.usmagazine.com/healthylifestyle/news/bret-michael-2010124 Please brace yourself, though, because if you thought he was indestructable and MM and I did, this may come as a bit of a shock! ;-)

    Oh, yes, I forgot to mention about the LW not marrying the dad if she can't love his son as if he were her own. What a shame. That's another letter where my first draft was WAY longer. I originally gave the dad quite a bit of shit, too, for being such a douche bag, but, in final edit, took that out since the letter was from de facto step mom and about her feelings.

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  7. Hi SmagBoy

    O'oooooh that guy. I know nothing, nothing...and shall stay that way. My only exposure to him was on Apprentice due to my curiosity over the past GOV of Illinois...isn't he a piece of work? ;o)

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  8. Dude, i told you that Mermaid had a bad case of the bends but you never listened. That's to be expected i suppose when you spend half your life in a large metal tube bathed in radiation.

    Anyway, re LW # 1, what if that hot, dusty place turns out to have been Texas ? It's a lot more dangerous than Iraq and she's gonna feel rather foolish indeed when he heads down to the Lone Star state post-tour to chill out with relatives and his glove box ends up looking like a taco filled with brain matter.

    Anyway, i didn't want to just give you a handjob like everyone else here but those were some good answers. My commiz to Bret Michaels but you know he was asking for it.

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  9. Alright, Debbie, Bret is the most awesomest, most badassest, most incrediblest front man ever to front a candy apple, quasi-hair-metal pop band that there's ever been (unless you're counting Scott Stapp from Creed, which we're not)! ;-) You are not allowed to just dismiss him as "that guy"?!! Sacrilege! ;-)

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  10. Handjob? HANDJOB?
    *walks off in a huff*

    *comes back* Well, Smaggy, the recipe is not the best I've ever eaten, and there's something lacking in the consistency. I'm not certain if I'm supposed to be using a blender, or something, to make it less granular from the corn meal.
    Also, I need to hit my local HDOAS soon so I can taste theirs and see if I'm trying to match theirs, or the memory of the DLand dog. :-S Once I get the wrinkles worked out, trust that I will share. =-) Because darn it, if I'm going to have to work out more because I can make fried cheese on a stick in my own home, the rest of you should have to too! =-D

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  11. Tarq! How in the hell are you, Brother!

    Oh, there are so many interpretations for her "dream" that it's just nuts. Same with Prudie's sister's dream. Sure it's spooky after the fact. But, had she not had that stroke, who'd have even given the dream a second thought.

    Thanks for the not-a-handjob handjob, Tarq. ;-) And, just so you know, I'll pass on your well wishes to Bret. We're buds, he and I. MM thinks he likes her best, but, I have news for her. He doesn't! :-P

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  12. Ah, Libby, I see how it is! The ol' fried-cheese-on-a-stick-eater-loves-company justification, eh? ;-)

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  13. Well, I should just stop the experiments right now and make us all have to go to the store to get it so we don't eat too much of it. But I have no willpower to do so, and I figure y'all would be upset if you knew I had the recipe and didn't share, right?

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  14. Sheesh...and here I thought by simply saying Tha'ttttt guy I'd somehow be Swiss(Handjob1).

    If I told you my first experience (Handjob2) with seeing him in action was late at night when I was zipping through channels and Bada-Bing, here he was lining up those cheesy, melty dream babies for a date does that get me off the hook? It was an enlightening (Handjob3) 12.5 minutes and Bada-Bing I was gone.

    Could this have been your Rock of Love?

    So your tellin' me that he is a fantastic musician then (Handjob4)? Seemed like a decent guy on Apprentice (Handjob5). As a friend of mine says...just not my cup of tea. (Handjob6)

    How to Avoid Conflict 101...Handjob's a'plenty!

    Are we having fun yet?

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  15. asking for a "friend"April 15, 2010 at 4:06 PM

    are U still accepting side questions fashioned in the style of Dear Prudence? I have a great one!

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  16. Libby, I am quite happy for you doing the research and sharing with us! And I'm sure that I'm not the only one! :-)

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  17. No worries, Debbie. Those of us who love Bret, love him unconditionally. There's nothing you could say that could help or hurt. It's okay. :-)

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  18. Hey asking for a 'friend'. Welcome back!

    I am absolutely taking questions. Always! :-) You can write to me directly at the e-mail address listed at the top of my blog, or, you can ask directly here in the comments section like your last question.

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  19. Loved your interpretation to the LW#1! And your answer is perfect. I have met people like this except for New Age bs, substitute Holy Roller bs. Not as entertaining but just as crazy.
    I just signed up to follow your blog. You definitely have a way with words!
    Jaimie (janiebell on Prudie)

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  20. My family of 5 was once invited to the wedding of a girl who had been fostered by the mother of an old friend of mine after my friend had married and moved away. We quickly determined why we had been invited. It wasn't for a present. It was so that there would be (almost) as many guests and members of the wedding party! There were perhaps 50 people at the wedding, including the minister. The bride and groom each has TWELVE attendants. The girl had her foster parents, my friend, and my friend's husband. The groom had a few family members, but all the young males were groomsmen. Perhaps 15 people there were NOT in the wedding, of whom my family constituted a full third. Apparently in their eagerness to have all their friends participate, they ran out of friends to just come and watch.

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  21. Tarqi, every Texan knows not to leave a sealed, carbonated drink in the glove compartment or trunk. Even excepting the shrapnel, it's heck cleaning up all that hot, sticky liquid.

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  22. Don't tarq to me about hot, sticky, liquid, Coolio, because my body produces so much of it naturally that it's a struggle to know what to do with it all. Anybody know of some vacant landfill sites ?
    And Smaggie, you need some type of thumbs up / thumbs down gadget so that i can give you a -1 for your posts and a +10 every time you mention His Majesty, Scott Stapp.
    And Scott Stapp isn't the lead singer of a gay hair-metal band, he is a REAL man of a MAN'S rock band who just happens to occasionally embarrass everyone by getting his ass kicked by some pervert who's too into his sister.

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  23. Ahoy Jamie! And welcome! :-) I grew up in Holy Roller country, replete with tent revivals and religious boot camps, so I'm with you. You're right, not nearly as entertaining (due to how scary it can be), but definitely as nutty!

    I'm glad you found "The Fly". There's almost a year's worth of Submariner backlog here, should you desire to do some light, snarky reading. And, I look forward to seeing you next week! :-)

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  24. CoolOne, that wedding sounds like a hoot! I mean, what would be the point of all of that pomp and circumstance if there was no one there to see it?! :-) Pretty impressive, though!

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  25. Greetings Tarq. I'll work on the thumbs up/thumbs down rating system (I'll have to see if there's a way to add one to blogspot blogs). But, now that you've given me the formula, I'll just mention His Majesty in every post! Woohoo! ;-)

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  26. G'day Smagmate!

    Wow, I dreamt last night that you wrote "I’d like to stay here and tell you more, but I need to go send my life savings to The Uri Geller foundation" for this Prudie edition !!!
    Am I psychic or what? ((or is it psychotic?! hmmm)

    Seriously, every now and then you throw in some gems like the one above... love it.

    Please, please, don't call MM "batcrazy"... she can be at most "crabcrazy" (hehehe, sowwy Mermy, j'k!)

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  27. Lurker here . . .

    I love all of the snarky responses to complaints about Bridezillas, but I gotta tell you, it's tough out there for a girl trying to organize her own wedding. I'm 34, getting married for the first time, excited about it, and I wanted to throw a nice party for my whole (rather large) extended family because I like them. I'm funding it myself with a few small donations from my folks and his folks.
    So I draw up my budget, and share it with the people who care. I created two websites, one for planning and one for guests, that contain all of the relevant information. I'm offering scholarships to the bridesmatrons and groomsmen for special clothes -- $100 for each outfit. I've made all of the reservations and decisions so far, I've created the attendee database, and I've driven the creation of the Save the Date card as well as the invitations. I've done all of this and STILL people keep calling me and saying, "Rachel, what should I do? Won't you tell me how to dress? Why haven't you written the line-by-line script for the entire day yet? How will I know what I'm supposed to do?" Arghh!! It's as if when I say something like, "Wear whatever you want" I'm speaking Klingon or something. It doesn't make it through the you-must-perform-exactly-as-we-expect-you-to-perform filter.

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  28. Oh I'm "crabcrazy" now, am I? Looky here, Roo, I'm not the one fighting all Twilight-y over Scott Stapp like Smag and Tarky are. Now THAT'S insanity right there! What's next with these two? Where will it end? An Ode to Nickelhack? Hey you guys ~ I heard Garth Brooks called ~ he wants his schtick back.

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  29. Rachel, hang in there, and it sounds like you're staying pretty sane through all of that. =-)

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  30. Merm, I'm with you on that one, but you've got to realize that they both are MEN, insanity comes built-in with them! ;^)

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  31. LeS Rachel <<<< Klingon for "Relax Rachel" :-D

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  32. Hey Roo! It's outstanding to see you here, but, OMG(!), please don't put words in my mouth about MM! She's neither batshit *nor* crabshit crazy!!! She's actually quite perfect, IMHO! (And, Roo, you've clearly never seen a mermaid scorned! What in the heck are you thinking?!). :-)

    But, now that she's relentlessly attacked my love for clearly superior music, I don't know? Maybe for that you *can* call her crazy. But that's on you. Your call. ;-) I'm staying out of this one. Me and my cheese on a stick. ;-)

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  33. Hello and Ahoy, Rachel! No need to lurk! Come on in, the water's fine. A little choppy this week, what with all of the "crazy" talk, but, we'll live right through it so long as we all get those cute little blow up thingies for our arms and wait out the wake. :-)

    Seriously, though, welcome, welcome! You know, our own Space Cadet just recently put on a wedding and shared with us some of the same concerns that you've mentioned. To me, all you should be required to do is arrange for the place, the person overseeing the actual ceremony, some invitations and some minimal vittles. And that last one is entirely up to you. Anything else past that is like icing on the cake. And not something you should have to worry about! If the invitations tell the time and the place, and if you make sure the priest/Justice of the Peace/Notary, etc., is there, then you've done your duty. Seriously! :-)

    Good luck with it all and please come back often. We enjoy the company!

    P.S. As for my response to LW#4, all I expect of the bride in *that* scenario is that she be human enough to her friend that she recognize that asking an out-of-work person to be in a wedding that'll easily cost the friend $1-3K isn't being very empathetic, or a "friend". You know?

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  34. Alright, MM, don't take out Roo's indiscretion on me! I think you're the bee's knees, Diving Buddy. And we'll always fight about music, you and I, because you have water in your ears and so hear things differently than I do! I'm not judging your "music", I'm just saying that, you know, my love of good music is not less worthy of respect than your yours. That's all. And, just because I have the ability to recognize that Nickelback can bring it on occasion (see "Burn It To The Ground") doesn't negate the fact that, yes, they can also suck donkey schlong on occasion, too. But that's the nature of the beast, you know? Even Blueshammer gets it right every once in awhile, right? Maybe. ;-)

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  35. Oh me and Roo, we're just fine. It's just girl talk. In fact, Roo ~ you'll be my new BFF if you can teach me how to say "Scott Stapp sucks hind teat" in Klingon. ;)

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  36. Rachel, best wishes on your new life together!

    Can I say something? Honey ~ the reason your people keep calling you, asking what you want, is because you appear to be a really adept planner (holy crap, you have websites!) who is totally on top of things, so they're probably thinking you want things a certain way all the way through, and they're nervous about doing the wrong thing and they just want to make you happy. You also seem like a pretty steady person, so they're probably comfortable calling you because they are nervous.

    My suggestion? If you keep getting the same kinds of questions (like ~ what shall we wear?) and it's taking time you don't have, why don't you just bite the bullet and take 15 minutes and do a page of what's acceptable for you, and just put on there somehow nicely but firmly "This is a list I came up with because so many friends and family have been asking me our preferences. I got these answers from an etiquette book. The truth is ~ we just want you there to help celebrate our special day and whatever you feel festive and comfortable in is absolutely fine with us. See you there!"

    Also, turn your phone off more. Cleave unto your sweetheart. I find most problems go away on their own after a while of doing this. :)

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  37. Oh I hear that little sigh of relief from you Smag, thinking I'd hopscotched over to the ladies and you were all like "whew!" but I assure you, diving buddy ~ I didn't miss "your "music"". In quotes even. You're really going to go there? Mr. "Never even HEARD of Tony Joe White?" Oh it is so ON. It's ON like freshly glued hair extensions. It's ON like self-tanner. It's ON like a bandana! It's ON like ABREVA!!

    I'm takin' you down from the top rope, Smagpipe. I will own you. Let's get ready to rumble...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2DlMA-a3tc&feature=related

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  38. Damnit! Damnit! Damnit! I *so* thought that I was in the clear! :-P

    And, as for Mr. White, I'm surprised that you'd go for a copy, MM, when you can have the real thing! The source, MM. You know, not the "white-ified" stuff?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-Taae2zLfA

    Damn! Chills down my spine! Hot damn!

    Or a little bit of this?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyAa4Xp3sTg

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSWTkI_aVSo

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  39. OK, NBFF, are you ready?!? Here it comes, translation and interpretation!

    "roS paw' gham Scott Stapp"

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  40. yoohoo Captain Smaggy! As I am drifing around on my little raft, I can't stop asking: "who the hell is Bret whathisname?" --pretty ignorant of me to miss such a musical genius....

    As for dreams, my friend from Burnei tells me that they have dream specialists there (like our Dr Freud?). So you dream something and then you can decide to go to the dreamster who'll figure out on the basis of certain features in your dream whether you were dreaming about the distant past (here's come Freudy!) or about what happened during the day, or about the future....

    Of course if I had a friend on his way to Iraq to take a security job, well I'd probably worry about his head being blown off to and might dream my worry. I agree it's better not to tell him because he's probably already worried enough about that possibility and he'll take the job anyway since he's unemployed....

    Hey, does Bret sing the song "Dream dream dream...." (can't remember the rest of the lyrics, but I think I first heard it in my wild youth...)

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  41. Hi Madd Libby, please pretty please do share that recipe....

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  42. herd"T"hinner confesses:

    I had to look up exactly who Bret Michaels is. I mean, I'd heard the name and such, gun to head, I wouldn't have been able to finish the sentence, "Bret Michaels is known for... ??"

    (((bang!!!))

    Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned!

    -----------

    I be back in the Land of my People, the Caliph of Ornia. And I simply must know, why is the admission to Legoland almost the same as for Disneyland?? Why? WHYYYY?? I arrived here with ample savings (let's say 10+ months) but still jonesing for the D-land annual pass. And thought I'd swing by Legoland for the first time ever. But $67?? Bah!

    What else is going on? OH! I lament at all times my total lack of precognition. I remember a great deal many dreams, and not one has even had a smidgeon of "oooo, last week's dream was so eerily accurate of this week's real events!" How am I supposed to fulfill my destiny of winning either the Megamillions or Powerball jackpot without any head's up? By sheer luck? That's for savages.

    I think LW1 should/could express appropriate concern for the One True Lost Love going to a quantifiably dangerous place like Iraq, but should leave out the "Scanners" references.

    -------

    I'm a total prude, I admit it. The times they can be a-changing a thousand times a day, but I still lament kids being born out of wedlock. This is a Wag of the Finger at the parents, I mean, not the kids. Yes, even megastars like you, Johnny Depp! What about Bret? Him, too? Or should I not go there?

    I'm not alone in thinking that the 6-year-old is the only real "adult" in this situation, am I? Or acting his true age, anyway

    --------------------

    If interruptions had been allowed during that "presentation," and I'd have been there, I would have asked Whatsername pointedly about the "overweight" remark, and stood up at the time, too. In the working world, I've become a bit less tolerant of shit.

    Or if interruptions were suppressed, I would've asked Bosses later what sort of consequences we're talking about for being Tons of Fun, grey/white-haired, pimply, too short, too tall, too not-American, and other things protected by federal law. (Yes, that would put words in the presenter's mouth, but knowing limits are important)

    I guess I'm spoiled by not having worked at places that had "business etiquette" lectures. Business *ethics,* yes, but those are about confidentiality, legal liability, and stuff like that. The last place I worked treated us like human adults!

    -----------------

    I never understood the appeal of Bridezillas. I also don't believe that the "zilla" part ONLY appears for weddings, either. It's part of those type's core personality.

    I can't improve on your advice, Aquaman!


    Dinner with Mom calls, y'all, so I must flee!

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  43. Smag, do premonitions have something to do with string theory? (as for instance the future bouncing off into the present,or pasing through it, or the past present future getting tangled up, or some such arcane phenom only physicists and submariners can fathom?)

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  44. oops, "passing" of course -- where're those strings when you need them!

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  45. Tangential to LW3--has anyone ever, in the history of the world, been able to make somebody else smile by walking up to them and yelling "Smile!"?

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  46. Heh. I have smiled when randomly told to do so. Of course, then I've thought about exactly what would make me want to smile, and it's not necessarily "happy thought" a la Peter Pan. =-)

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  47. Kati, I admit that I wasn't fully in control of the recipe the first time, and so I don't know if the wrong amount of liquid was put in. Consequently, it came out too thin and didn't coat the dogs well. Flavor-wise, it was pretty good, and when I thickened it up it did have a decent crispy shell with soft flavors inside, but I thickened it with the leftover flour/seasoning mix my roommate had used to make fried chicken that night. So. I have no idea if it really is that good or not.

    Having gone on and on about it.... here's the recipe I used, and I ended up making 16 corndogs with it and have some batter left over in my fridge for when I get the nerve up to try the home-made cheese on a stick.

    http://www.recipezaar.com/recipe/Hot-Dog-on-a-Stickreg-Clone-291379

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  48. Libby, this is the original recipe from which that one was cloned (look at the dates) - this one shows some reviews as well.

    http://www.recipezaar.com/recipe/Hot-Dog-on-a-Stick-234906

    I suggest using buttermilk instead of just plain milk.

    But if you want something to kick your panties off try this one!

    http://www.lastappetite.com/french-fry-coated-hot-dog-recipe/

    Did you know that in the land of Oz we call them dagwood dogs?

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  49. Hail, SB1! It is very interesting. Except for LW1, you say quite a lot of the same things as the Mermaid, only in your case I cannot think that you treat LWs as you would want to be treated (forgetting that you would never be in the situation in the first place). It makes for an interesting contrast.

    How many divorces does this group of letters lead you to foresee in the near future? I'm inclined to put the Under/Over at seven in the next ten years. We have six possibilities - the four LWs, Bridezilla and Step-In-Law. Of the six of them, while I wouldn't want to give odds on any of them, I shall (like Poirot in *Cards on the Table* supposing that Mr Shaitana, not being infallible, might have made a mistake about one of the four "murderers" at his dinner party) predict that only one of the six will remain married (or perhaps, as LW2 and LW4, might not marry at all), but that two of them will divorce twice.

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  50. Thanks Madd Libby and Flying Roe, I'll give the recipes a try... there will be corn dogs and fried cheese in my family's future!

    The old fashioned way of breading things was to coat them in flour, then in egg, and then in breadcrumbs. It wouldn't work for hot dogs but it might work for cheese because it works for cheese croquettes.

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  51. Ahoy Smagster!

    I keep dreaming about cheese on a stick!! What does that mean?

    Anyway, I liked your version of the letters this week better than the real letters! Much better. Prudie is getting a little dull lately.

    Happy post tax week to you, my friend! We had to pay this year!!!! AUGH!!!

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  52. "if you can teach me how to say "Scott Stapp sucks hind teat" in Klingon. ;)"

    Oh, nicely done, Mermaid ! Because of you, i have to start the weekend choking down 5 different kinds of tranquilizers ? You're lucky i only punch women who are more slightly built than myself.
    And if Scott Stapp could fight as well as he can sing, he'd send you into freaking orbit.
    But he can't. He fights like Ozzy Osbourne wearing a lead straitjacket.

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  53. Greetings Kati, and Ahoy! Bret Michaels is the lead singer of the band "Poison" and also a living, breathing human Petri dish of STDs. What science can learn from him is more valuable than gold. And he puts on a hell of a rock show! What's not to love?! :-)

    And, for what it's worth, I'm with you regarding LW#1. If I had a friend in the security business (or looking for a job in that field),and if I knew him to be looking at defence contracting, I'd have the same trepedations. They're almost common sense, and, having lost friends in the sand (sadly, from being blown up in real life), I find the dream to be no different than what thousands of wives, fathers, mothers, girlfriends, brothers, sisters and friends are experiencing every day that we keep our soldiers over there. Fact is, if this man takes the job, there's a chance he'll die in a particularly gruesome way. But, too, there's a significantly better chance that he won't. Here's hoping for the latter. For ALL of the folks over there, regardless of what "side" they're on.

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  54. Greetings 'T', and congratulations on returning to the land of your peeps! ;-) I'm glad that you've arrived safely.

    You mention that your last job treated employees like human adults. What a novel concept! I'm a smidge jealous, I must say! :-)

    And, your observation about the "zilla" part having nothing to do with the "bride" part is spot on. No one, and I mean, NO ONE, can just become a bitch/bastard due to one event, treat people like utter shit, and then turn that off, having never shown signs of it before or after, and be the nicest person ever. Just doesn't happen. At least not in the really real world. :-)

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  55. Kati, I'll be honest. I don't understand string theory well enough to know how different points in time are connected under its ideas, but, I do know what I believe about dreams. There are certainly some that are related to real, actual things in our lives. Real cues. Real stimuli. And, in some cases, the brain just needs sleep and dreams to put together ideas that are right there in front of our eyes. Other dreams, though, aren't about those real things. They are the product of puremental gymnastics for the sake of the gymnastics. I believe both have their place, but that both should be treated as dreams, too, with an understanding that the brain is a tricky, tricky thing. Now, if anyone has a dream on how to effectively differentiate between dreams, then we'll have something! :-)

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  56. Greetings, Cantahamster! Well, it seems to work for photographers! :-) The question then becomes, are the smiles photographers get "real" smiles, or evil faked smiles while the smiler is thinking, "I'm going to kill that bastard with a shitty, plastic, non-retractable ballpoint pen (because they're surely worthless as a writing utensil)." ;-)

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  57. Greetings hrumpole! I believe that you are definitely on target regarding your predicted divorce rate. I predict a no-more-sunny outcome than what you've predicted.

    As for MM's and my advice, I am always pleased when my scribblings match hers in intent (although, clearly, not in compassion). But, it should be noted that, being a submariner (at least in how I choose to provide my advice, even if I no longer take to the deep on a regular basis), mine is usually snarky by design, but, I hope, too, delivered with the appropriate manner of respect based on the hints in the letter. I believe that if a LW is asking for a shit storm (LW#2, for example), then she deserves to have that fact pointed out to her. ;-) And I'm just the butthead to do it.

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  58. Ahoy Bella! And thank you for the kind words. :-)

    You know, you may *think* that your dream about cheese on a stick is just that (you know, that there might be some cheese on a stick in your future, or, that you've been reading a lot about it recently), but, I'm afraid to tell you that it's actually about penises. See, Freud told us that if it looks like a penis and tastes like a penis, even if it doesn't really look or taste like a penis all that much, then it must, of necessity, be a penis. And, cheese on a stick is clearly phallic. So, taking all of that into consideration, plus divining other information from you life, I'm guessing that your dream means that no tax refund is in your future this year (I'm sorry to have to be the one to tell you that). I don't know why the dream had a penis masquerading as cheese on a stick in it, but, such is part of the mystery of life and dreams. I only call 'em like I see 'em. ;-)

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  59. Thanks everybody! And thanks SmagBoy for the welcome!

    I think I will create a webpage that answers questions about how people should dress -- thanks Mermaid, great idea! I'll post a link when I get finished.

    I would play more in the pond, but I don't have a lot of time to comment. I do enjoy everyone's DP responses, though! Keep up the good work.

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  60. Hi all,

    What to wear (to my wedding).

    https://sites.google.com/site/geoffrachelweddinghome/home/what-to-wear

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  61. Stunning! Nice work, Rachel! It looks like a good time is about to be had by all. How fun!

    And how full of kismet ~ the 19th of June is set to be a day filled with Romance for Mermaid, also! For that reason, I would normally say "I'll be thinking of you on your big day" but I'm sure you'll understand if I won't be. ;)

    Thanks for sharing this, Rachel. Congratulations to your groom, and best wishes to you!

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  62. herd"T"hinner spews thusly:

    Rachel, your wedding attire is impressive! If only people I know had requested the same for their weddin's!

    If for some reason I found myself getting married, that's the "dress code" I'd give my guests, too. The reception would be at Disneyland. Well, not a reception, per se. Just a "see ya at the park!" kind of thing.

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  63. Excellent stuff, Rachel (as MM and herd'T'hinner said)! As for commenting, there's no pressure. :-) Just that you're welcome to do it at any time.

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  64. So, MM, sounds like you have something super-fun and romantical planned for June 19th?! Do share! :-) As for me and my relationship with that month, my birthday is about a week or so before the 19th. So June is one of my favorite months, too! :-) Of course, I won't divulge how old I am, but, suffice it to say that I'm no longer 29. ;-)

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  65. T, that sounds like the PERFECT reception, actually! Especially at night. :-) The park is (for me, at least) a bit more magical at night. You know?

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  66. Especially during the holidays when the castle is draped in lights!

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  67. This may stun the lot of you, but I can't remember the last time I was at the park after dark. I think a lot of it has to do with various rides being shut down in anticipation of the night parades and fireworks. And paths start getting roped off all over the place.

    But now that I'm local again and have a pass, I guess I have no excuse not to be going at all sorts of crazy hours??

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  68. Every year from junior high through high school, our school would rent the park after hours for our grad night. Talk about fun! No little kids, no adults, just a bunch of kids our age all amped up and running wild in the park with no parental or teacher supervision. Now THAT'S magic!!

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  69. Oh, and Smagboy? The answer to your burning question about my romantic plans for the 19th is ~ it's all going to start with me nibbling on a couple of sweet chocolate drops and it'll work its way south from there. But to elaborate further would render me unladylike, I'm afraid.

    Speaking of being unladylike ~ what would you like your Mermaid to give you for your birthday, Captain? And no fair just saying "more" again. ;)

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  70. Ahoy, MM! You cheeky monkey, you! :-) As I told Libby a couple of weeks back regarding a sweater, SmagBoy1 Inc. ™© is a non-profit organization. And any gift from you other than your wonderful and kind words here would have to be classified as exceedingly scrumptious profit. Then the government would swoop in and nail me. Sigh. So...all I can request is: how about 'more' of the same from last year. HA! ;-)

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  71. Terrible news, oh fellow fans of Bret Michael: following his appendectomy, Bret had a brain hemorrhage late last night and is in critical condition.

    I will keep you in my thoughts during this difficult time, Smags.

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