Lately, a couple friends have asked us how we “come up with this stuff” to blog about. And the answer is that we don’t actually come up with anything, I just turn a tape recorder on at some point during the day. Sunday is kind of an exception, because on Sundays I try and have a definite question that I want Buck to answer for Q&A. But I’m not a planner in the planning sense; I shoot from the hip when it comes to pretty much everything. Because of that, every now and then I tape a conversation that just isn’t suitable for print. They’re not dirty conversations, or racist or anything like that. As far at that stuff is concerned, both Buck and myself would sooner put fork to eye than listen to racist comments, or even worse, a racist “joke”. 

 No, the conversations that I find unsuitable are ones that just don’t go anywhere. Not that our conversations ever go anywhere, but some are to the Nth degree. We jump around, make insider references that no one would get, state misinformation then insist it’s fact, and I can’t even find a sound byte to end it on. They’re just interviews gone bad.

Normally I take a conversation like that and just tape over it later in the day, but this past weekend we were buried in work and time didn’t allow for a second, better discussion later on. So, to demonstrate what I’m talking about when I say how bad an interview can go, I’m blogging the following:

Without this helpful yellow circle, I would have missed ax-wielding serial killer Fritz Haarmann in this charming Christmas advent calendar offered by the Hanover, Germany, board of tourism. Here, Haarmann is pictured at his old stomping grounds along the Leine river where he dumped the bodies of the 24 boys and young men he murdered before he was caught in 1925.

 Me: I read that in Germany, an advent calendar is creating a lot of problems. The board of tourism who created the calendar included a famous serial killer in the little pictures, because he lived and killed in that town. So my question to you is, how much time must pass before a murderer can become a national treasure? At what point in time is all forgiven and it’s okay — and smart business sense, even  — to embrace a killer’s path as a tourist destination?

Buck: [sighs deeply] Is this your topic?

Me: Kind of. Yeah. What do you think of tourism people embracing killers and their crime scenes?

Buck: Well, people go to Nicole Simpson’s house, they go to OJ’s house. There are bus tours, and people like to get photographed there, so I guess there’s a call for it and there are good parts to it. Unless you’re a neighbor.

Me: There are no good parts to it.

Buck: Well, what’s your question? I don’t understand what you’re angling at.

Me: [laughing] I’m not angling for anything. I thought I thought …

Buck: What did you think?

Me: I don’t know. I guess I saw that advent calendar and it made me think of the Jack the Ripper tours in England —

Buck: Well this topic … is kinda weird. You know?

Me: Yeah. I agree, it’s weird. And probably in poor taste even for us.

Buck: [in stupidly high voice meant to be mine] Do YOU have an opinion whether it’s good to have a killer on your town Christmas card?

Me: [laughing] That wasn’t even my question. [laughing]

Buck: [laughing] Oh. My mistake I guess. What was your question?

Me: Oh, God.

Buck: Did you think this murderer Christmas card thing was lighthearted? Because it’s not. It’s a downer, not to mention weird. And not weird in a good way.

Me: [laughing] I suppose I could do a different topic.

Buck: Oh, I think we should continue with this one. This one’s really going places. Plus, it will help to alienate all the people whom we haven’t alienated yet. 

Me: [laughing]

Buck: Another good thing about it, is that you haven’t used the fuck-word in your blog lately so maybe you could refer to it as the fucking advent calendar

Me: [laughing]

Buck: — which will keep you in good standing with that subversive  sub-culture you’ve joined where you’ve all taken a vow to use swear words in your posts. You’ve probably been kicked out by now.

Me: I was never part of that thing and they are not a weird sub-culture. They’re linguists for crying out loud. LINGUISTS. And I was never part of it. I just happened to read about it. Not that I’m against it, it’s just that I don’t go out of my way to swear for shock value. I just swear when I swear, but like everything else I’m pretty lazy about it, so I couldn’t have participated even if I’d been asked to.  

Buck: That’s true.

Me: But this whole interview has taken a weird turn because I was talking about murders in history and how tourism is exploiting the whole thing, and you brought up a recent killer who’s still on the loose playing golf and robbing people at gunpoint and whatnot.

Buck: [laughing] What’s the difference?

Me: WELL THAT’S WHAT I’M ASKING. Is there a difference? Is it acceptable to  embrace murderers after a certain amount of time goes by? Ten years? A hundred years?

Buck: I think the old ones are more boring. Most of them, anyway.

Me: I don’t think that one murder story is more boring than another. Old murders aren’t more boring  —

Buck: They were. There was no DNA, no photos. Murderers could be anybody. YOU could have been a serial killer —

Me: I could have never been a serial killer —

Buck: No, what I’m saying is that anybody could have committed the crimes because getting away with it was easier before all the new technology —

Me: I can’t get into this now. Never mind.

Buck: All I’m saying is that the old killers are boring because killing back then wasn’t that hard. I mean, Lizzie Borden kills her fa–

Me: HEY! Lizzie Borden is totally off-limits here. Don’t even go there. I’ve read a lot about the case, watched all the forensic documentaries AND the Elizabeth Montgomery movie, and I believe the theory that Mr. Borden had a history of sexually abusing Lizzie and her sister and Lizzie had had enough. So, given the era and the circumstances, given her history prior to the crime and after I can’t fault Lizzie Borden for what I believe was an act of rage and desperation. So leave Lizzie out of this. 

Buck: God. Elizabeth Montgomery must have been very powerful in that roll for you to feel so strongly she must have done a helluva job —

Me: [laughing] Shut up. [laughing]Elizabeth Montgomery was not the deciding factor, although it was fascinating the way they said Lizzie did the whole thing naked, which is why there were no bloody clothes or shoes —

Buck: I think you believe Elizabeth Montgomery was Lizzie Borden.

Me: She did do a great job and I liked having it all put into perspective that way. The timeline, the trial. I welcomed that movie after hearing the Lizzie Borden song my whole life, and having Fall River and Lizzie Borden become synonymous —

Buck: Synonymous for you. I don’t think of Lizzie Borden when I think of Fall River.

Me: I hate this conversation. And my mail box is full of stuff I haven’t even opened. Seriously. It’s FULL. I have 175 unopened emails, and the thought of them makes me very tired. I don’t even think there’s any spam or stupid chain letters in there. That’s weird isn’t it, wishing half my mail was spam and chain letters? And I’m hungry. I need something to eat.

Buck: I’m gonna go get the M&M bag. I need some M&Ms after this conversation.

Me: What conversation? I don’t even know what this was, but I have to post it anyway.

Buck: Why?

Me: I don’t know.

Thanks again for the ashtray from Hawaii, Gail. I love it.



Lizzie Borden B&B in Fall River.

London Times: German Calendar Reminds Children of Serial Killer


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Bound and Gags can’t believe I’ve let so much time go by without ranting about the loss of our hero and the greatest Survivor player in the history of the game. That’s right, Boston Rob Mariano. Well, it was such a painful experience to see him voted off by Russell’s evilness, it’s been hard to talk about it. 


B& G mentioned that his girlfriend, who DVRs the show like us, runs over it for clues as if it’s the Zapruder film. We also do this, running it back and freezing the frame on Russell’s evil smirks, trying to find clues to prove he really is related to Satan. As if making fun of Rob’s Red Sox cap isn’t proof enough. I don’t know why we do this, replay it and pause on his face…it makes my blood pressure skyrocket.  

 I did publicly mourn Rob on Facebook, perhaps because I was so upset I couldn’t write more than few words cursing Russell for all of eternity. When Rob was voted off, I was ready to stop watching this season of Heroes vs. Villains. Buck convinced me to keep watching if no other reason than to watch Russell go down in a spectacular ball of flames. I can’t stand Parvati Shallow (perfect name) either, but I find myself cheering for her now, because I believe she’s the only one who can take him out and really make it hurt.  

But not an episode goes by that Buck and I don’t comment, “Dammit! If  only Boston Rob were still there, this never would happened!”  

For Boston Rob fans who may have missed it, here’s an interview  with him from the LA Times that’s interesting to read. I have to console myself that he’s got a couple million already, and had Amber and his new baby to go home to.

Update: Russell’s been arrested.

     So I’m back to blogging. Not as often as I used to, but at least I’m back. Stuff that prevents me from tapping away on WordPress is stuff like…work.

     Last week I got to interview Monte M. Moore, an illustrator who specializes in sci-fi and fantasy, gaming, pin-up Monte M. Mooreand entertainment illustration. As a commercial illustrator, he is an officially licensed Star Wars artist for Lucasfilm Ltd., Sony Online, Playboy, Topps Cards, DC Comics, Marvel Comics, and more. He’s a cool guy, easy to talk to, and it’s always motivating to meet somebody who is actually making a living at their art. He’s also done some awesome paint jobs on custom motorcycles and won lots of awards. You can check out my article and the cool bike Bombshell here, if you’re so inclined. You can also check out Monte’s work at his own website, Maverick Arts, by clicking on Luke and Princess Lea.

 Thursdays are just sick now that Survivor is back and Heroes vs.Survivor Villains! I’ve missed these people I call “my old friends” and can’t contain my crazy excitement at seeing them, while Buck sits back and tells me to stop yelling before the neighbors think he’s killing me. Because yes! During last week’s premier I was screaming and shouting at the TV like there was a  hockey game going on. The problem is I’m torn between cheering on Boston Rob, who’s on the Villain tribe, and Rupert Boneham, who’s on the Heroes tribe. Ugh. It makes me scream. On the bright side of this quandary, I have the chance to once again post a photo of me and Rupert at the Cincinnati V-Twin Expo.

     Rupert, FYI, is one of those rare people who said if they had a million dollars they’d use it to better the world…AND HE DOES! You can check out Rupert’s Kids by clicking on me and Rupert. Don’t we look happy? Doesn’t it look like we’re dancing?

    And for anyone who only comes to this blog to see Stella, here she is, Buck’s little princess. Hey, does anyone remember when the Interweb snagged Stella and Photoshopped her into a political article? That was hilarious. But here she is in real life. I took this photo last Sunday.

Stella headshot



     My parsley has been growing all winter. I’m not bragging, I’m just saying.

     This is a test post, really. A lot has happened to me technologically speaking since I took a break from blogging. The hard drive on my laptop crashed and I lost a lot of stuff, like Windows Live, which is a free blogging software program I’ve used ever since Little Miss, aka Claire from Cadence of Life introduced me to it way back in the day. I just downloaded it again this morning and wanted to test it out. I lost a lot of other stuff when my hard drive crashed, so my son-in-law, Paul, introduced me to Mozy, which backs up my computer throughout the day so I never lose anything again. He also introduced me to Skype Recorder. Now when I’m interviewing people for my articles I use a headset and call them from my computer, which is way cheaper than any land line phone plan (it’s $2.99 a month), and the free Skype Recorder automatically records everything in crystal clear sound. Plus, with Mozy backing everything up, I don’t have to worry about losing my interview. Basically, Paul has made my job a lot less stressful. Maybe my hard drive crashing wasn’t such a bad thing after all.

     And in weather news, although the winters in El Paso are mild compared to most parts of the country we do get snow. Nothing much, a dusting really, and certainly not enough to shovel. We don’t own a snow shovel, but I think we should buy a window scraper. We got some snow a few weeks ago so I took these photos of it on the truck


and on the rosemary bush out front.


Giant Eagles On Crystal Meth

When I was a nail tech I had a client come in with her hand bandaged up. She’d been to the hospital. She told me she’d seen this big “interestingly prehistoric”  bird in her backyard just sitting on her picnic table so she went outside, walked right up to it, and tried to feed it some lettuce. Turned out the thing was a Great Blue Heron and it nearly took her hand off.

Yes, her freaking hand. By the way, herons look like this

Nice, huh? Well my nail client was understandably upset about it and angry at the bird, but I couldn’t feel all that bad for her because I mean, c’mon. You see this giant bird and you try to feed it? I’m not a fan of big birds anyway, I prefer chickadees and robins over giant birds. I got dive bombed by a pair of osprey once when I was walking my dogs through a marsh in Sandwich and I actually had to run for my life. I was running in my LL Bean Wellies (it was a marsh after all) screaming my head off, my dogs were barking, the birds were out for blood…Oh it was a scene, man.  What’s an osprey you ask? Think giant eagles on crystal meth.

Yeah yeah yeah, they were defending their nest. But I say hey, nobody said raising kids is easy. Don’t take your bird rage out on me. I’ve never met an osprey I liked. I wouldn’t have gone near their nest even if I was in an Army tank. 

So when I saw the news about the latest discovery by scientists that they believe they’ve discovered the true color of this hideous dinosaur bird, Anchiornis huxleyi, I took one look and shuddered from the mental image in my head of  my client trying to feed it lettuce.

Merrill Markoe Is Hilarious

Longtime comedy writer Merrill Markoe is still hilarious. I just got her book, It’s My F—ing Birthday: A Novel and happened to find this video she made with her dogs. (If you recall, Merrill came up with “Stupid Pet Tricks” when she was David Letterman’s writer.) I love this, because my dogs would react exactly like this in an emergency. Come to think of it, they have.