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Sweet Holy Mother Of L. Ron Hubbard.

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Some wonderful soul has reposted the Tom Cruise on Scientology video that the “church” of Scientology ordered pulled from YouTube. Here is your chance to catch the crazy before they take it down again:

Now, I’m usually pretty laid back about other people’s religions, but there is just something about Scientology that makes me want to build a giant bonfire with every available copy of Dianetics I can find. A lot of religions are far-fetched. Let’s take a look:

  • Judaism An invisible being chooses a percentage of the human population to torture indefinitely.
  • Christianity Followers worship a carpenter (not Karen) who rose from the dead 2,000 years ago.
  • Church of Jesus Christ and The Latter Day Saints a.k.a. Mormons Founder of religion follows beautiful naked man into woods, explains his absence by starting religion based off of “plates” of text no one can see.
  • Shinto Followers believe that every inanimate object has a spirit; explains why Mr. Jen thinks canned goods sometimes need to be itched.
  • Neo-Pagans The universe is governed by various pantheons of petty, vindictive and selfish gods who look kindly upon dressing up in RenFaire garb and dancing around campfires at the local state park.
  • Buddhism Everything causes you suffering somehow, so don’t overdo it and you should be fine.

Okay, so Buddhism doesn’t sound that far-fetched. But given the list of weird things people believe, you’d think Scientology would be pretty easy to accept, right?

Scientologists believe that a bunch of years ago, before there were any people on the Earth, an evil space villain froze some aliens and dropped them into a volcano or something, and when people showed up, the ghosts of the aliens swooped in and infected us with all of their negative emotions, and that’s why we get depressed and sick and hurt and have the daily ups and downs of life.

Let that sink in a moment. Alien ghosts.

The thing is, I have no problem with what anyone wants to believe. That’s their business. But when they have such a smug attitude about it– like Tom “we’re the only ones who can save the world” Cruise– and act as though it is their duty to convert everyone, well, that just really gets under my skin like hallucinogenic spiders with your dead grandma’s face right after you’ve done a big ole bowlful of PCP.

And maybe a lot of my anger toward Scientology is based on the fact that while they want everyone to learn their secret ways of rejecting medical science and patting each other on the backs for understanding the universal truth, they want everyone to pay for it. And they want people to pay a lot of money. So, what we’ve ended up with is a church made of rich, successful people who think it’s their job to save the world, because their egos weren’t big enough to begin with.

Scientology just seems like a way to proclaim to the world, “Look at me! I’m rich! I’m important! This has be validated in a way that makes me feel secure about how I am living my life! More importantly, I know more than you do, and you can’t find out what I know unless you pay for it, which you probably can’t!”

Seriously, just buy a private jet or name a hospital after yourself, for Xenu’s sake.

ETA: In the interest of fairness to Tom Cruise, here’s a video of an absolutely nut bar lady who starts screaming about Jesus, Mexicans, and Shannon Doherty and gets kicked out a coffee shop. The site that hosts it is NSFW, though:

Dr. Phil, maybe you need to counsel your wife…

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Senator John McCain is in the city this morning. Senator McCain, on behalf of everyone in our area: stop fucking up our traffic. The weather is bad enough.

For about a week we had bizarre weather here. See, in Michigan, January is usually synonymous with mountains of snow, roads like arctic Slip n’ Slides and this really cool phenomenon where you leave a bottled water outside and it doesn’t freeze until you bring it inside and open it. But for some reason, last week we had temperatures in the forties (that’s fahrenheit, for everyone outside of this tiny island of standard measure in an ugly, cold, metric world, but let’s just say it was between 4 and 9 celsius and 277 and 282 Kelvin, in case you’re a scientist), which means shorts-wearing time for the average Michigander.

We’re paying for that now, with multiple vehicle accidents at every intersection and snow that falls in wet, gap-between-your-coat-and-your-neck seeking clumps.

Maybe it’s the weather that has me in a poor mood, but I have been locked in the throes of deepest grammar rage today. I don’t know why, but I’ve been noticing everyone’s spoken grammar issues. For example, on Dr. Phil, Dr. Phil said, “I’ve raised two boys, along with my wife, Robin.” What the hell, dude? You’re a medical doctor. Could you rephrase that question so that it doesn’t imply that you raised your wife? I know she looks young, but I have a feeling that has more to do with L.A. doctors and not age.

Don’t even get me started on the Bare Minerals informercial (that I absolutely love to watch, because I love to see people putting on makeup). The woman trying to sell the products goes on and on about all the unnatural ingredients in regular foundations and concealers, then goes on to say, “there are only five natural ingredients in Bare Minerals.” Gee, that’s great, so what are the other, unnatural ingredients? Maybe something like, “there are only five ingredients in Bare Minerals, and they’re all natural.” There, I fixed your commercial.

I really can’t be that harsh. I can barely string together a sentence.

GREAT CHRISTMAS’S GHOST! We now interrupt your regularly scheduled blog bitching to totally flip out about Dr. Phil’s wife feeling up a seventeen-year-old on TV. Here’s the scoop: Dr. Phil asks Robin to come up on stage to be a part of a difficult interview between parents and a child. Robin comes up, sits next to this seventeen-year-old boy, puts her hand on his knee and says she was “wanting to touch” him. No joke. Then she reaches into his lap to get ahold of his hand, and he’s looking profoundly uncomfortable. Dr. Phil goes, “What are you feeling right now,” and I’m expecting this kid to say, “Your wife molesting me, Dr. Phil.” Holy crow. I mean, I get it, you’re going through this midlife thing and you’ve had all the plastic surgery you can reasonably have, so what comes next? You hire a supple young pool boy or a bronzed carpenter/struggling underwear model or somebody you don’t really need around the house and who preferably doesn’t speak English to take care of these things.

I’m seriously disturbed by Robin’s excessive handling of this poor, minor child, and Dr. Phil’s sudden and excessive use of mixed metaphor. I need to see some people putting on makeup to soothe my jangled nerves. Here, have some:

Top Ten Signs A Work Of Fiction Was Written By Me

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This is a meme making the rounds of the super awesome writers who blog, so I thought I’d toss my hat into the ring.

Ten Signs A Work Of Fiction Was Written By Me

  1. A character you grow to love and root for is brutally killed midway through the book. It will be random and somewhat unexpected, and it will seem like I’m doing it just to be mean to you personally. In fact, you can often tell who is going to live and die in one my novels based on how nice un-screwed up they are. Only the flawed get to live.
  2. On the subject of flaws, I’d like to think that none of my characters are sickeningly perfect. I have a really hard time reading books where the characters never make a bad decision or do something selfish. If someone is 100% perfect all the time, they just look like a victim when inevitable plot happens to them.
  3. There will probably be some horrific description of either an injury or a rotting corpse.
  4. References to Broadway musicals. I’m a giant fan of musicals and I love sneaking little nods to them into my writing. If I can’t make the characters do it in character, I sneak it into a chapter title. For example, in book four of Blood Ties (All Soul’s Night, available June of 2008 plugity plug), there’s a chapter called “Ain’t No Party” because it was a good description for the chapter and also it’s a song from Dreamgirls and Dreamgirls is the bestest.
  5. Colloquial grammar. Even if I’m writing in third POV, I like to write the narrative the way the person would talk. If that means writing improper grammar now and then, I’m willing to do it.
  6. Cussing. I have the vocabulary of a sailor who grew up in Newark, so my books are peppered with obscenities. My grandfather gives me lectures about the profanity in my books (I notice it hasn’t stopped him reading them), but where the hell did he think I learned to talk that way?
  7. The main character is an orphan, or has a poor relationship with his or her parents. This is mainly for convenience on my part, so I don’t have to figure out a character’s relationship with his or her parents. Sometimes this backfires; I figured making Dr. Carrie Ames an orphan would explain why she’s so needy and yet emotionally distant with people. As it turns out, it wasn’t her parents’ death, but how they were when they were alive, that made her that way. Carrie’s father has all but bludgeoned his way into the books.
  8. Sex. I don’t think I’ll ever write a book that doesn’t have sex in it. Not because I’m a horn dog, but I think it’s where people are most vulnerable. It’s also a good way for characters to screw up their lives.
  9. Religion. I like to know what my characters believe, because it makes them easier for me to write. Since I don’t like to just write random stuff that isn’t going to make me money (except fanfic, but that’s addiction, not a hobby), it ends up in the books.
  10. No dialect. Even though characters in my books might have accents, I’ll never write them out. I don’t think I could have taken Nathan seriously up to this point if he sounded like Hagrid on the page. You’ll probably never, ever see a dialect in on of my books.

Bonus #11: Myself. I think I’ll always make a cameo appearance in some of my characters. Sure, they all get a little something from me, I think, but it doesn’t take a genius to know that I am a different person than my characters. However, there is always one character in each project that is more like me than any of the others. This is because I’m vain and I need to be involved.

If anyone else does this, please leave me a link! I have very much liked reading these!

God is trying to kill my car.

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Now, I’m not a big believer in signs. Okay, I am, but not when they apply to me. But seriously, I think God is trying to tell me to stop driving my Neon.

First of all, let me just say, I *heart* my Dodge Neon. I *heart* all Dodge Neons. The day they stopped producing them, I think I cried a little bit. I drove this car all over the place, put over 140k miles on it, and it never complained. There was an incident last year when a hose to the transmission blew and I got stranded on a lonely country back road, but besides that, it has never betrayed me.

So why would the Lord take out some personal vendetta against my beautiful car (affectionately nicknamed the S.S. Filthy Whore)?


  • Thanksgiving Day, 2007: A deer wanders into the darkened country lane we are traveling down. I swerve to avoid it but do not achieve my objective, smearing the deer all over the side of the vehicle, resulting in a huge, deer shaped dent, an ill-fitting hubcap full of bloody fur and a missing passenger side mirror.
  • Just Before Christmas, 2007: Something goes horribly wrong with my alternator. Something that the guys at the shop share stories about, because none of them have ever seen a coil fry and shoot out sparks like a Fourth of July fireworks spectacular the way mine does. Also, they have no idea why it has done this, because it is less than a year old. Before they send it home, they repair the transmission hose, which has begun to loosen up again.
  • Today, 2007: On the one day between insurance policies, my husband hydroplanes and slams into the back of a vehicle making a left-hand turn while on his way to take our son to school. The driver’s side door slips on the frame, making it impossible to open. The hood crumples and the front lights are blown out like they’d just been used to illuminate the climactic chord in a circa-1989 hair-metal music video or the final, triumphant home run of a baseball movie.

No problems for years. YEARS. I’ve been driving this car since August of 2001 and have had nothing at all happen. The check engine light has never even come on. And now, this string of bad and expensive happenings. This leads me to conclude that either:

  1. God is trying to kill me. This seems supported by the malicious act of his woodland henchman jumping gleefully to his death in a suicide attack on my car, but is unsupported by the lack of my presence at the scene of the most recent accident and the non-lethal alternator pyrotechnics display.
  2. God is trying to kill my car. The events are certainly things that could have happened without any supernatural help, but the chronological proximity of each incident to the next suggest otherworldly forces are at work.
  3. I accidentally kissed Lindsey Lohan without my knowledge and got her bad luck, a la that stupid movie of hers I can’t believe I watched all the way through. The main flaw in this theory is that I think I would have had some kind of cold sore outbreak at this point if this were really the culprit.
  4. All the forces in the universe are trying to tell me that it is time to buy a grown-up car. Perhaps one that doesn’t look like a toy and isn’t covered with stickers that say things like “My other ride is your mom” and “Kiss me, I’m a pirate”. This action may also have the added benefit of reducing the steely glares of the other moms at Jr.’s school.

I have to give this some serious thought. Maybe I stumbled onto an indian burial ground or something. Maybe there used to be a cemetery under my driveway and they didn’t move the bodies, they only moved the stones. I don’t have a clue. In any case, I have this sinking feeling that I will be suffering terminal lightness of wallet pretty soon.

A Plant Inspiried New Year’s Resolution

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First of all, this is all Lori from Plainwell’s fault. See, she told me a lovely story about Robert Plant in the comments section of my “Fourteen Men Over Fifty” post. She says:

“i met robert plant when he came to wings stadium in the 80’s. he was lying shirtless in blue jeans on the grass hill behind the stadium. he was so nice and oh so golden godlike”

My New Year’s Resolution this year is to find the hill Lori spaketh of and roll around on it like a cat trying to get its hair all over my nice clean laundry because, hey, I don’t have anything better to do than lint roll seventeen Hot Topic t-shirts IT’S NOT LIKE I HAVE A JOB OR ANYTHING!

Okay, where was I going with this? Ah, yes. My New Year’s Resolution is to find this hill. I may take some grass clippings from it and preserve them carefully. I may try to do some kind of mythological spell to create a golem in his image, I might not. Let’s not condemn me until I think this through and consult some Rabbis, okay?

My other New Years Resolutions are, in descending order of importance, excluding my Circa-1980-Robert-Plant-Golem one are:

1. Finish “Heavenly Sword” for the PS3, even if the final boss battle is so frustrating and boring that I want to lob the wireless controller through my tv.

2. Do some more VS. battles for my blog.

3. Stop being mean to my neighbor’s dog. It’s not its fault it keeps crapping in my yard. It’s its owner’s fault.

4. Drive away neighbors, convince Eric Estrada to move in next door.

5. Launch new reality show, “I Live Next Door To Eric Estrada”.

That’s my resolve, people. That tests the limits of my resolve, right there. What are your resolutions, if any?

All I Want For Christmas Is A Paralyzing Dose of Amnesiac Drugs.

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You know, sometimes, it’s fun to watch VH1 Classic. Occasionally, they play that creepy Tom Petty video where he’s the Mad Hatter that scared the crap out of me on Friday Night Videos as a child.

But today it was no fun. Because I saw this:

Okay, my first question is: Stevie Nicks, what did I ever do to make you so angry? Why are you staring me down, like I’m the one what done you wrong?

My television’s horizontal hold actually went out in the middle of this video, like the TV was either nobly sparing me from seeing it or, alternately, just couldn’t take anymore and decided to pass out for a while.

Secondly: Why was there a time on earth when this kind of video was okay? I take no responsibility for the 80’s. See, I was merely a babe in swaddling clothes when Regan took office, so I had no control over the craziness that was the 1980’s. 90’s, sure, I’ll take the rap for some of that. “Rico Suave”? Yeah, I bought that single. But not Snow’s “Informer”. Never “Informer”.

So, people who had a choice to live and purchase music and be the force your generation in the 1980’s, what the hell were you guys thinking? Who kept encouraging Stevie Nicks to make these kinds of videos? And wear those kinds of skirts?

Also, who is responsible for Van Halen at this time? I need to speak with them immediately.

I Have Discovered Industrial Grade Panty Remover!

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Okay, I can’t take credit for it. Especially since I didn’t buy this album until, you know, a year after it was popular. But holy damn, have you heard Robin Thicke’s “Lost Without U”? The substitution of “U” for “you” guarantees that he’s bringing the funk. But this might seriously be the sexiest song I’ve ever heard. I had to concentrate real hard to not swoon and drive off the road while I was listening to it in the car, and that was before I even knew what the guy looks like (a grade A certified fox, that’s what he looks like). LISTEN HERE. And then find yourself a cool drink. Or a man.

Speaking of men, today I’m going to share with you a very special list. A list that will go down in history as being the most pervy thing ever, except those ten pictures of people getting it on that Brynn Paulin put on her blog earlier this week. Today, I bring to you, the list of the top fourteen guys over fifty that I would totally get on. Yeah, I know it was supposed to be fifteen, but turns out Michael Stipe is actually 47. Who knew?

14. David Hasselhoff
Pro: Think of the blog entry that would make for, my friends.
Con: Crying into my pillow every night, ashamed to face what I had done.

13. Billy Connelly
Pro: Would most likely be the funniest sex ever.
Con: May be smothered in his trademark facial hair.

12. Simon Cowell
Pro: Looks pretty good for being older than my mom.
Con: Is the devil.

11. Roger Daltrey
Pro: Lead singer of The Who, world’s greatest rock band ever.
Con: One full inch shorter than me.

10. Martin Shaw
Pro: Was in that awesome “The Professionals” show from the UK.
Con: Vegan, into Yoga and being healthy, also spiritual. If I wanted to fuck Sting, I’d just fuck Sting, okay?

9. Bob Geldof
Pro: Cares about the children in Africa; knighted.
Con: Looks alarmingly like Bob Geldof; wrote annoyingly catchy, socially conscious “Do They Know It’s Christmastime” song.

8. Geoffrey Rush
Pro: Captain Barbossa!
Con: Probably wouldn’t pretend to be Barbossa to my Elizabeth Swann. BARBOSSABETH FOREVER! THIS SHIP WILL NEVER SINK!

7. Iggy Pop
Pro: Friend who slept with him swears he’s hung like a farm animal.
Con: Might walk away from night of passion with severe lacerations from his many sharp and protruding bones.

6. Anthony Bourdain
Pro: Poet warrior and world traveler; hates Rachel Ray.
Con: Can shut up about the Ramones for two freaking minutes.

5. David Bowie
Pro: Is David Bowie.
Con: Possibly a vampire.

4. Robert Plant
Pro: New album with Allison Kraus rocks.
Con: Facially resembles Cowardly Lion; loves Hobbits and has admitted to actually hugging trees.

3. Kôji Yakusho
Pro: Looks annoyed. All the time.
Con: Doesn’t have those awesome “Memoirs of a Geisha” scars for real.

2. Terrence Mann
Pro: Deep voice? Check. Sad, soulful eyes? Check. Inspector Javert once? Check and double check.
Con: Original Broadway Cast member of “Cats.”

1. Anthony Stewart Head
Pro: Earring signals midlife crisis.
Con: No cons. There is only love here.

That’s it. You can use this handy list for just about anything. Especially Christmas and Birthday shopping. For me. And remember, nylon ropes cut off circulation, so only wrap my presents in organic fibers that have some give.

But not too much, because then they’ll get away.