Several times a week I check online writers’ resources, which post calls for submissions from publishers and editors. Many of the submission guidelines are so genre/topic and/or region specific as to be of no use or interest to me (“we seek speculative fiction reflecting the transgendered, pink-collar experience of immigrants to the Appalachian/Ohio Valley/Northeast/Midwest region”). And then, there are those venues whose particulars are downright entertaining, in that head-scratching, there’s an app for that? way.
Mermaids in the Basement: An Anthology of Mermaid Poetry
(______________) is seeking original poems of mermaid poetry…..
Poems need not mention mermaids directly but must suggest a mermaid theme.
I love the request for “original” mermaid poetry. It’s not as if there are anthologies full of classic (or even contemporary) mermaid odes to plagiarize.
And, not knowing what would constitute a mermaid “theme,” I can’t even hint at one, much less suggest it. Although I dare to venture that such a specialized genre calls for haiku.
Neptune’s stench ascends;
More mermaids in the basement?
Call the plumber, dear.
* * *
There are friends, and there are friends. What kind are you?
My perennially upbeat, kind-hearted, mild-mannered friend TK expressed her concerns about her upcoming oral surgery. Due to what transpired after her colonoscopy several years ago, TK is worried about what she might say or do while under the influence of modern happy blabbermouth brain filter reducing pills medicine.
TK had asked her son to be her designated post-colo transportation, and he drove her home from the hospital. As Son pulled the car into their driveway, TK asked him a question, the answer to which she should have already known.
“Is Grandma still at our house?”
“Yes Mom, Grandma is still at our house,” Son replied. (TK’s mother had been staying with them for several weeks).
“Oh!” TK sputtered. “Then you get in there and tell her to go the fuck home!”
TK’s son was – surprise! – greatly amused by his mother’s outburst, which he would have missed had he not been her driver. He asked her why she’d chosen him for the honor, and not her friend, Wendy? TK told Son she’d been warned about certain after-effects experienced by those who’ve undergone a colonoscopy. Although Wendy was indeed her friend, when it came to comfort levels, TK wasn’t sure if Wendy was the kind of friend…well, she didn’t know if Wendy was a “farting friend.”
* * *
So much for which to Thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster
Truly, MH and I have been Touched By His Noodly Appendage ® , when I consider the fact that our daughter Belle is neither the kind of person who
(a) like one of her classmates, shares (during class time) the news that she got a letter from her incarcerated boyfriend,  , nor
(b) like several other girls in the class, responds to such news with icky-sincere squeals of, “Aw, isn’t that sweeeeet?!”
Belle assures me she has (so far) managed to refrain from barfing in her book bag when the hormonally-challenged, love-struck loser besotted youngster tells tales of her jailbird Romeo. Such self-control is amazing for mere mortals, but perhaps not surprising when coming from – proud parent announcement alert – one of the LHS Class of 2014 Valedictorians. 
* * *
A show I’m looking forward to seeing:
“Jesus Loves you (But Hates Me)”
* * *
It’s time for a new acronym for an official, or at least widely recognized, office of the federal government. We have SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) and POTUS (President of the United States). Surely there is room in This Great Country of Ours ® for DOTUS (Do-Nothings/Dickheads  of the United States).
This thought came to me the other day while listening to an interview with yet another do-nothing Republican congressman. True to the acronym, this elected official was doing nothing…save for the usual GOP chunk-blowing. Really, and truly, I wish I knew what the current crop of Republicans are for.  From my perspective, they do nothing, they say nothing, they are for nothing — except for being rabid bat-bit, foaming at the mouth crazy, anti-Affordable Care Act (excuse me, “Obamacare”).
Although I am not currently a member of any political party, I am a devoted and consistent voter. I have many complaints about the Democrats, but it’s the Republicans who have me flummoxed with their crazy ass legislative and rhetorical inertia.
There are a myriad of problems, challenges and downright ***f***s facing this nation. Reflecting on only a few of these will get my head spinning:
– our ham-fisted immigration system;
– the higher and higher cost of higher education crippling, and the resultant saddling of graduates with crippling student loan debt;
– the widening economic gap between rich & poor;
– global warming and the need for non-toxic, renewable energy sources;
– our aging transportation system/crumbling infrastructure;
– the need to assess our role as the world’s police, including our continuing military presence overseas;
– the rise of religious fundamentalism abroad and at home, and the security and educational ramifications of dealing with
those who embrace pre-scientific, pre-Enlightenment worldviews;
-our growing scientific and technological illiteracy, and how our science education compares to that of other developed nations
And Republicans are really pissed about…something they already helped pass into law.
* * *
The Ones That Got Away
One of our family’s most treasured seasonal traditions involves voluntary elf infestation. As part of our Solstice/Christmas décor, a motley crew of Santa’s elves are placed in various nooks and crannies in the downstairs rooms of our house. One crouches atop the kitchen clock, another peers out from behind the leaves of the potted ivy by the sink, one hangs from the chandelier, others hide between the shelves of books and DVDs or atop curtains or precariously hang on picture frames or objects d’art…. The idea being that, whether standing at the kitchen sink, walking through the hallway, sitting in front of the TV or on the loo, you are being watched.
We plant dozens of these elves in various shapes and sizes each Solstice season, and try to come up with novel hiding places for them. Come early January when the seasonal décor is taken down put away until next year, there is always one sprite that escapes detection. This lucky elf is rewarded by having a free downstairs pass until the following season.
This year, for the first time, two freedom-loving elves managed to remain hidden until after the others had been returned to the attic. Both were cases of hiding in plain sight; much to my surprise, neither one was that which had been oh-so-cleverly hidden by MH. 
* * *
May no DOTUS darken your day, may the elves watch over you and yours, and may all of your friends be farting friends.
And, of course, may the hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
 This is far from the first time said student has mentioned her incarcerated lover.
 She found this out yesterday, from her school guidance counselor. Much happy feet dancing ensued.
 Lady dickheads are included in this acronym, lest Michelle Bachman have yet another reason to feel left out.
 Other than lower taxes for baziillionaires and full funding for NSA security devices placed in every vagina lest women even consider managing their own reproductive systems.
 I have been registered with nearly every political party at some point in my electoral life, to either vote for (or against) someone in a primary, or so see, as I did in college, who sends the most whackadoodle flyers to their registrants: the John Birchers, the Libertarians, the Peace and Freedomers….
 And unnerving, according to some visitors.
 In the eye socket of MH’s 50th birthday present to moiself.